On 18 Dec 2011, at 19:56, meekerdb wrote:

On 12/18/2011 3:46 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 17 Dec 2011, at 22:05, meekerdb wrote:

On 12/17/2011 8:24 AM, Quentin Anciaux wrote:

2011/12/17 Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>
On Dec 17, 7:30 am, Quentin Anciaux <allco...@gmail.com> wrote:

> N- you can build a machine that implements and can only run 3 but that > can't handle counterfactual, but as the computation is the same as 3, it > must be as conscious as when it was running on a complete physical computer. > N+1- you can restore the handling of conterfactual by adding inactive > piece. But If N was not conscious, adding inactive pieces shouldn't render
> it conscious.

Conscious of what? It sounds like this assumes that consciousness is a
binary feature.

You didn't read, that's not the argument.

It begins by *assuming we have a conscious program*. The argument is not about what is consciousness, it's about assuming consciousness to be computational and assuming physical supervenience thesis true and showing a contradiction.

But it seems like a play on our intuition as to what constitutes a computation. We hypothesize consciousness supervenes on computation because computation is the kind of thing needed to make intelligent (and therefore "conscious") acting machines. But then there is a subtle shift from computation as the basis of intelligent action, to computation as a sequence of physical states to sequence of physical states as the playback of a recording. Then we intuit that something as simple as a playback can't be a computation that would support consciousness - but why should we still regard it as a computation?

To save the physical supervenience thesis, some people does that. But it is a confusion between a computation and a description of a computation.

I don't understand that remark. Are you saying the playback is only a description of a computation and not a computation?


Or is the sequence of physical states only a description?

Only a description. If those states have been linked by a universal machine, then there is a genuine computation "in the air". That physical manifestation correspond to a genuine computation (which is an abstract notion living in Platonia). Consciousness is attached to such computation. The problem of those who want both comp and the physical supervenience, is that they have to attach consciousness to a physical implementation of a computation, but then MGA/Maudlin can be used to show that they have to attach consciousness to a movie, or to a physical description of a computation, which makes no sense, given that there is no more causal or arithmetical (or java-ical, etc.) relationships between the states: so it does no more correspond to a computation at all. Physics can implement computation only in virtue of having itself elementary causal processes making it Turing Universal, but consciousness (abstract) is only attached to the (abstract) computation, not any particular implementation.

if you want, no bodies are conscious. People are conscious, and their bodies are only a way to manifest themselves relatively to other people, again through their apparent bodies.

Things are bizarre only if we keep both comp and the idea that matter is a primitive concept, or that physics is the science of the ultimate reality. That explains why naturalist well versed in the mind-body difficulties eventually want to eliminate consciousness. But a second of introspection refutes the non-existence of consciousness. So *primitive matter* is easier to eliminate, even if it go against our animal prejudices, (reifed by Aristotle).

As I have said once: it is easier to explain to a consciousness the illusion of matter, than to explain to a piece of matter the illusion of consciousness.



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