--- On Fri, 2/12/10, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> Jack Mallah wrote:
> --- On Thu, 2/11/10, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>
> > > MGA is more general (and older).
> > > The only way to escape the conclusion would be to attribute consciousness 
> > > to a movie of a computation
> >
> > That's not true.  For partial replacement scenarios, where part of a brain 
> > has counterfactuals and the rest doesn't, see my partial brain paper: 
> > http://cogprints.org/6321/
> It is not a question of true or false, but of presenting a valid or non valid 
> deduction.

What is false is your statement that "The only way to escape the conclusion 
would be to attribute consciousness to a movie of a computation".  So your 
argument is not valid.

> I don't see anything in your comment or links which prevents the conclusions 
> of being reached from the assumptions. If you think so, tell me at which 
> step, and provide a justification.

Bruno, I don't intend to be drawn into a detailed discussion of your arguments 
at this time.  The key idea though is that a movie could replace a computer 
brain.  The strongest argument for that is that you could gradually replace the 
components of the computer (which have the standard counterfactual (if-then) 
functioning) with components that only play out a pre-recorded script or which 
behave correctly by luck.  You could then invoke the 'fading qualia' argument 
(qualia could plausibly not vanish either suddenly or by gradually fading as 
the replacement proceeds) to argue that this makes no difference to the 
consciousness.  My partial brain paper shows that the 'fading qualia' argument 
is invalid.

I think there was also a claim that counterfactual sensitivity amounts to 
'prescience' but that makes no sense and I'm pretty sure that no one (even 
those who accept the rest of your arguments) agrees with you on that.  
Counterfactual behaviors are properties of the overall system and are 
mathematically defined.

> Jack Mallah wrote:
> > It could be physicalist or platonist - mathematical systems can implement 
> > computations if the exist in a strong enough (Platonic) sense.  I am 
> > agnostic on Platonism.
> This contradicts your definition of computationalism given in your papers.
> I quote your glossary: <<Computationalism:  The philosophical belief that 
> consciousness arises as a result of implementation of computations by 
> physical systems. >>

It's true that I didn't mention Platonism in that glossary entry (in the MCI 
paper), which was an oversight, but not a big deal given that the paper was 
aimed at physicists.  The paper has plenty of jobs to do already, and 
championing the possibility of the Everything Hypothesis was not the focus.

On p. 14 of the the MCI paper I wrote "A computation can be implemented by a 
physical system which shares appropriate features with it, or (in an analogous 
way) by another computation."  If a computation exists in a Platonic sense, 
then it could implement other computations.

On p. 46 of the paper I briefly discussed the All-Universes Hypothesis.  That 
should leave no doubt as to my position.


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