On 02 Mar 2010, at 20:33, Jack Mallah wrote:

I finally figured out what was happening to my emails: the spam filter got overly agressive and it was sending some of the list posts to the spam folder, but letting others into the inbox. The post I'm replying to now was one that was hidden that way.

--- On Sun, 2/14/10, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
Jack Mallah wrote:
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.

OK. I was talking in a context which is missing. You can also conclude in the prescience of the neurons for example. The point is that if you assume the physical supervenience thesis, you have to abandon comp and/or to introduce magical (non Turing emulable) property in matter.

That is false. Bruno, you don't have to assume any 'prescience'; you just have to assume that counterfactuals count. No one but you considers that 'prescience' or any kind of problem.

This would lead to fading qualia in the case of progressive substitution from the Boolean Graph to the movie graph.

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 am not using the 'fading qualia' argument.

Then someone else on the list must have brought it up at some point. In any case, it was the only interesting argument in favor of your position, which was not trivially obviously invalid. My PB paper shows that it is invalid though.


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.

It is a reasoning by a an absurdum reduction. If you agree (with any computationalist) that we cannot attribute prescience to the neurons, then the physical activity of the movie is the same as the physical activity of the movie, so that physical supervenience + comp entails that the consciousness supervenes on the movie (and this is absurd, mainly because the movie does not compute anything).

I guess by 'physical supervenience' you mean supervenience on physical activity only.

Not at all. In the comp theory, it means supervenience on the physical realization of a computation. MGA shows physical supervenience entails comp supervenience. No universal machine can know what is its most probable computation, and they can know that below that level, the appearance come from all.

That is not what computationalism assumes. Computationalism assumes supervenience on both physical activity and physical laws (aka counterfactuals).

? You evacuate the computation?

There is no secret about that. Consciousness does not arise from the movie, because the movie has the wrong physical laws. There is nothing about that that has anything to do with 'prescience'.

This is not computationalism.

Now, there is a school of thought that says that physical laws don't exist per se, and are merely descriptions of what is already in the physical activity. A computationalist physicalist obviously rejects that view.

Counterfactual behaviors are properties of the overall system and are mathematically defined.

But that is the point: the counterfactuals are in the math.
Not in the physical activity.

Bruno, try to read what I write instead of putting in your own meanings to my words.

I try politely to make sense to what you say by interpreting favorably your term.

A physical system has mathematically describable properties. Among these are the physical activity and also the counterfactuals. There is no distinction to make on that basis. That is what I was saying. That has nothing whatsoever to do with Platonism.

machine ... its next personal state has to be recovered from the statistics on the possible relative continuations.

No, nyet, non, and hell no. That is merely your view, which I obviously reject and which has nothing to recommend it - especially NOT computationalism, your erroneous claims to the contrary.

Show the error, then.

But I think you have not even read the step zero (of UDA) correctly.

To explain comp I assume consensual reality. Comp is really the thesis that I survive with a digital PHYSICAL brain. But we don't assume that PHYSICAL is primitive, and indeed the reasoning shows that Comp entails that the mind body problem is transformed into a problem of justifying the emergence of the ohysical apparition from a relative measure on computation (eventually given in the arithmetical UDA by Bp & Dt, with p sigma_1).

It helps to be agnostic on primitive matter before trying to understand the reasoning.


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