Is there a problem with the idea that 3-p can be derived from some
combinatorics of many interacting 1-p's? Is there a reason why we keep
trying to derive 1-p from 3-p?
[mailto:everything-l...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of David Nyman
Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 1:08 PM
To: Everything List
Subject: On the computability of consciousness
This is old hat, but I've been thinking about it on awakening every morning
for the last week. Is consciousness - i.e. the actual first- person
experience itself - literally uncomputable from any third- person
perspective? The only rationale for adducing the additional existence of
any 1-p experience in a 3-p world is the raw fact that we possess it (or
"seem" to, according to some). We can't "compute" the existence of any 1-p
experiential component of a 3-p process on purely 3-p grounds. Further, if
we believe that 3-p process is a closed and sufficient explanation for all
events, this of course leads to the uncomfortable conclusion (referred to,
for example, by Chalmers in TCM) that 1-p conscious phenomena (the "raw
feels" of sight, sound, pain, fear and all the rest) are totally irrelevant
to what's happening, including our every thought and action.
But doesn't this lead to paradox? For example, how are we able to refer to
these phenomena if they are causally disconnected from our behaviour - i.e.
they are uncomputable (i.e. inaccessible) from the 3- p perspective? Citing
"identity" doesn't seem to help here - the issue is how 1-p phenomena could
ever emerge as features of our shared behavioural world (including, of
course, talking about them) if they are forever inaccessible from a causally
closed and sufficient 3-p perspective. Does this in fact lead to the
conclusion that the 3-p world can't be causally closed to 1-p experience,
and that I really do withdraw my finger from the fire because it hurts, and
not just because C-fibres are firing? But how?
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