On 12/28/2011 10:03 AM, David Nyman wrote:
On 28 December 2011 17:01, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
But as Peter D. Jones points out primitive matter isn't inconsequential.
It's consequent is realization. Being material is the property of existing
in contrast to those things that don't exist. Of course this is not a
popular view on an "Everything" list, but it's consistent with our
epistemological experience that some things happen and some don't, some
things exist and others don't.
I'm not sure that he was arguing purely in terms of CTM - I think he
is agnostic on that particular theory of mind (as indeed am I).
However, if one does restrict one's reasoning carefully to what is
consistent with CTM, it's surely questionable whether this move is
still open. Once one fixes seriously on computation as the
supervenience basis for "epistemological properties" (ignoring
crypto-eliminativist sophistries about "mere seeming") is one any
longer in a position to appeal to the content of experience as the
natural limit to the extent of computational "existence"? Does it
seem quite as reasonable to argue that only certain computations are
permitted to "exist" per se because we conjecture that they are the
only ones being computed by the particular macroscopic physical
machines which happen to uniquely and primitively exist?
That seems to implicitly assume computation is fundamental and asks why fundamental matter
only implements some of them.
since these particular machines require to be "epistemologically
assembled" for the purpose by from a kit of
inaccessible-but-even-more-primitively existing micro-physical parts?
I think you're taking it backwards. If primitive matter exists simply as a marker of what
exists and what doesn't, then it is our model of it that is epistemologically assembled
and the existence is independent of our descriptive model. That's the common sense view
of the world.
As I say, I'm personally agnostic about CTM, although in the past, I
have been a vigorous opponent of the idea. I was much impressed by
Searle and his Chinese Room argument, which made it perfectly obvious
that computation doesn't (indeed doesn't need to) "exist" in a
primitively material universe, and hence couldn't be a candidate for
hosting anything as "real" as consciousness. However, especially in
the absence of credible alternatives, if we do treat the consequences
of CTM with proper seriousness it now seems to me that something like
Bruno's proposal would have to be the case - because computationalism
taken seriously opens up mathematical reality in a way that seems hard
to confine within "somethingist" limits.
But to take it seriously you have to assume that mathematics exists. That it is not just
a set of logically conditional tautologies.
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