On 16 February 2010 22:21, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Consciousness could be computable in the sense that if you are the
> computation, you have the experience.

Yes, but that's precisely not the sense I was referring to.  Rather
the sense I'm picking out is that neither the existence, nor the
specifically experiential characteristics, of any 1-p component over
and above the 3-p level of description is accessible (computable) in
terms of any such 3-p narrative.  Consequently any reference to such a
component at the 3-p level seems inexplicable.  This leads some (e.g.
Dennett, if I've understood him) to try to finesse this by claiming
that 1-p experience only "seems" to exist - IOW that when 3-me refers
to 3-my "conscious experience" this is merely a 3-p reference to some
equivalent computational aspect which is fully sufficient to account
for all the resultant 3-p phenomena.  The 1-p "seeming" is then
supposed to be, in some under-defined sense, "identical" to this
computation.

But for two manifestly distinct levels of description to have any
prospect of being seen as "identical", they must  be capable of being
discarded individually, in order to be jointly reconciled in terms of
a single more fundamental level clearly compatible with both - this is
the only manoeuvre that could validate any non-question-begging
ascription of "identity".  ISTM that the Dennettian approach is merely
to *assert* - given the undeniable "seeming" of conscious experience -
that this *must* be the case, whilst offering no glimmer of what the
nature of such a transcendent level of reconciliation could possibly
be.

David


> On 17 February 2010 05:07, David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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?
>
> Consciousness could be computable in the sense that if you are the
> computation, you have the experience.
>
>
> --
> Stathis Papaioannou
>
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