On 4 February 2011 19:59, Andrew Soltau <andrewsol...@googlemail.com> wrote:

> Your revelation that ' Maudlin uses this result to reject CTM, and Bruno
> follows the opposite tack of rejecting materialism. ' makes things very much
> clearer for me, I had got seriously bogged down in all this.
>
> My problem at present with either position is that I cannot see why the fact
> that an experiential sequence supervenes on more than one physical situation
> demonstrates anything about anything. (In my view, the entity having such an
> experience simply exists simultaneously in both physical situations) If
> anyone can cast some light on this I would be grateful.

Andrew, thank you for your (excessively) kind comments, but to quote
Father Dougal, when requested to elaborate, on the (to the best of my
recollection) sole occasion Father Ted praised him for his
perspicacity: "On no Ted, I want out - I can't take the pressure".

That out of the way, I'll say what I can, since that's why we're here.
 I've always had the intuition that Bruno is pointing to some really
important ideas, in problem areas that have worried me these many
years, but which I haven't got the technical equipment to get my head
around.  From time to time I try to formulate these in simpler terms
suitable, as it were, to explain the thing to grandma (grandma of
course being me).  The thing he emphasises most with respect to your
question above, it seems to me, is the additive or totalising aspect
of an infinity of computational classes, as opposed to their
individualisation.  That is, the "material content" of experience is
conceived as emerging from a "single perspective", as if filtered by a
unique consciousness through a sieve of computation.

The UD functions, in one sense, to create the structure, but
consciousness isn't conceived as operating by differentiating uniquely
along each computational path, but rather by integrating certain
classes of computational structure.  Consequently, neither
consciousness, nor the appearance of matter within it, is finitely
computable; both are artefacts of the integration of an infinity of
computation.  That's my understanding, more or less.  Of course any of
this may turn out to be unintelligible, inconsistent, or just wrong,
but Bruno's argument is that if we nail our colours to computation for
an explanation of mind, then we should expect any "physics" extracted
from it to have just such counter-intuitive characteristics.

Anyway, I really must stop taking his name in vain in this shameless
manner, and leave the field to the man himself.

David


> Hi David
>
> I have just been trawling the list, and found your wonderfully clear
> summary:
>
> As I've understood Bruno over the years, he has
> never asserted that comp(utational science) necessarily is the
> fundamental science of body and mind.  Rather, he is saying that IF
> computational science is assumed (e.g. by proponents of CTM) to be the
> correct mind-body theory, THEN the appearance of the body (and
> consequently the rest of matter/energy) must emerge as part of the
> same theory.  In other words, EITHER the correctness of comp as a
> mind-body theory directly implies the "emptiness" of any fundamental
> theory of matter; OR alternatively (i.e. accepting a "fundamental"
> theory of matter) comp can't be the correct mind-body theory.
>
> This helps enormously, thanks.
>
> Your next paragraph is likewise wonderfully clear:
>
> The establishment of this disjunction depends on a number of logical
> steps, culminating in a class of "reductio" thought experiments
> including Maudlin's Olympia/Klara and Bruno's MGA, the burden of which
> is to reveal contradictions inherent in any such conjunction of
> computationalism and materialism.  As it happens, Maudlin uses this
> result to reject CTM, and Bruno follows the opposite tack of rejecting
> materialism.  There is some controversy over these results from
> supporters of CTM who continue to find ways to dispute them with
> auxiliary assumptions.  Personally, these auxiliaries strike me as
> being rather in the nature of epicycles, but then I'm hardly an
> authority.
>
> I have no problem with the basic concept of CTM, as I understand it. The way
> I understand it is as presented in the paper The Computational Theory of
> Mind at SEP (that Always makes me think of Douglas Adams' Somebody Else's
> Problem field, which is such a powerful human emotive force that it can make
> even a massive spaceship decending into the middle of a cup final,
> invisible!)
>
> http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/computational-mind/
>
> Your revelation that ' Maudlin uses this result to reject CTM, and Bruno
> follows the opposite tack of rejecting materialism. ' makes things very much
> clearer for me, I had got seriously bogged down in all this.
>
> My problem at present with either position is that I cannot see why the fact
> that an experiential sequence supervenes on more than one physical situation
> demonstrates anything about anything. (In my view, the entity having such an
> experience simply exists simultaneously in both physical situations) If
> anyone can cast some light on this I would be grateful.
>
> Andrew
>
>
>
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