On 26 Dec 2011, at 23:37, Russell Standish wrote:

On Mon, Dec 26, 2011 at 01:08:25PM +0100, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 26 Dec 2011, at 12:06, Russell Standish wrote:

On Mon, Dec 26, 2011 at 11:09:27AM +0100, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 26 Dec 2011, at 02:00, Russell Standish wrote:

Good analogy. Let's explore it further. Tommy is in the
classroom. So
is Samantha. Let's swap Tommy's consciousness for Samantha's.
But the
classroom does not change!

Are you swapping the brain? That would be a change in the classroom. If you swap just the consciousness, I don't see the meaning, nor the
relevance.


No, swapping the consciousness, not the brains.

What would that mean?


First consider whether
Tommy's consciousness supervenes on the classroom. If yes, then
consider whether Samantha's consciousness supervenes on the
classroom. By symmetry with Tommy, one should also say yes. In that
case you have two conscious entities supervening on the same
"hardware", which contradicts the definition of supervenience.

I don't see this at all. If I run the UD, an infinity of different
consciousness will supervene on the physical phenomenon consisting
in that execution. I do already believe that different consciousness
occur in my own brain: they supervene on the activity of the whole
brain though. Supervenience of Y on X, means only that a change of Y
needs a change on X, not the reverse.

If Y supervene on X, Y supervene on X united to anything.


Therefore we must conclude that nobody supervenes on the classroom.

I have no understanding of what you mean by swapping consciousness
of two people.

Bruno


This is purely a technical result deriving from the definition of
supervenience. It says that if two conscious states differ, then so
must the sates of the hardware being supervened on.

In this case we have two conscious states (Tommy's and
Samantha's). They clearly differ. Therefore, the supervened hardware
must be in a different state for each consciousness.

So therefore, it is incorrect to say that both Tommy and Samantha
supervene on the same classroom. Although, presumably they do supervene on
their own bodies which are within the classroom.

This is a direct counter example to your statement:

If Y supervene on X, Y supervene on X united to anything.


I suspect you might have a different notion of supervenience than
usually deployed. But in that case, perhaps a different term might be
called for (if it is important).

I use a weak notion of supervenience (there are tons of notion of supervenience in the literature, most are distinguished by Kripke-like modal (worlds) semantics.
We might think about changing the vocabulary a little bit.

But I still fail to see what you mean by swapping two consciousness. In this case we have that the consciousness of [Tommy and Samantha] supervenes (weakly) on the physical activity in the classroom (to change them, we have to change something physical in the classroom), in the same manner than the consciousness of Bruno and Russell supervenes on the (phsyical, here) execution of the UD. That is what is used in the argument.

Bruno




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Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au
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