On Dec 13, 8:53 am, smi...@zonnet.nl wrote:
> I explained my argument on this here:
>
> http://arxiv.org/abs/1009.4472
>
> Saibal
>

As with Bruno's argument, the problem I have is not with the
reasoning, it's with the beginning assumptions. You say

"According to the computationalist theory of the mind, conscious
experiences are
identified with computational states of algorithms [1, 2]. This view
is the logical
conclusion one arrives at if one assumes that physics applies to
everything, including
us."

I disagree completely. There is nothing logical about identifying
conscious experiences with computational states. Pain is not a number.
Blue is not a an algorithm which can be exported to non-visual
mechanism. It's false. A hopelessly unrecoverable category error which
is nonetheless quite intellectually seductive.

I agree that physics applies to everything, including us, which is why
the logical conclusion is:

1.  What and who we are, our feelings and perceptions, apply to (at
least parts of) physics. It goes both ways. The universe feels. We are
the evidence of that.

2. Feeling is not a computation, otherwise it would be unexplainable
and redundant. If physics were merely the enactment of automatic
algorithms, then we would not be having this conversation. Nothing
would be having any conversation. What would be the point? Why would a
computation 'feel' like something?

3. Physics is feeling as well as computation. We know that we can tell
the difference between voluntary control of our mind and body and
involuntary processes. My feeling and intention can drive
physiological changes in my body and physiological changes in my body
can drive feelings, thoughts etc. If it were just computation, there
would be no difference, no subjective participation.

4. Computation is not primitive. It is a higher order sensorimotive
experience which intellectually abstracts lower order sensorimotive
qualities of repetition, novelty, symmetry, and sequence. When we
project arithmetic on the cosmos, we tokenize functional aspects of it
and arbitrarily privilege specific human perception channels.

5. Awareness is not primitive. Awareness does not exist absent a
material sensor. Some might argue for ghosts or out of body/near death
experiences, but even those are reported or interpreted by living
human subjects. There is no example of a disembodied consciousness
haunting a particular ip address or area of space.

6. Sense is primitive. Everything that can be said to be real in any
sense has to make sense. The universe has to make sense before we can
make sense of it. The capacity for being and experiencing inherently
derives from a distinction between what something is and everything
that is it isn't. The subject object relation is primary - well
beneath computation. Subjectivity is self-evident. It needs no
definition statement and no definition statement can be sufficient
without the meaning of the word 'I' already understood. If something
cannot understand 'I', it cannot ever be a subject. I cannot be
simulated, digitized, decohered, or reduced to an 'identification with
computation'. I may be computation in part, but then computation is
also me. Arithmetic must have all the possibilities of odor and sound.
Numbers must get dizzy and fall down.

7. Mistaking consciousness for computation has catastrophic
consequences. It is necessary to use computation to understand the
'back end' of consciousness through neurology, but building a
worldview on unrealism and applying it literally to ourselves is
dissociative psychosis. Even as a semi-literal folk ontology, the
notion of automatism as the authoritative essence of identity has ugly
consequences. Wal Mart. Wall Street. The triumph of quanitative
analysis over qualitative aesthetics is emptying our culture of all
significance, leaving only a digital residue - the essence of generic
interchangeability - like money itself, a universal placeholder for
the power of nothingness to impersonate anything and everything. Just
as alchemists and mystics once gazed into mere matter and coincidence
looking for higher wisdom of a spiritual nature, physics and
mathematics now gazes into consciousness looking for a foregone
conclusion of objective certainty. It's a fools errand. Without us,
the brain is a useless organ. All of it's computations add up to
nothing more or less than a pile of dead fish rotting in the sun.

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