On Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 2:12 AM, David Nyman <da...@davidnyman.com> wrote:
> On 1 April 2012 16:48, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
>> David, if Dick does not have the impression that Harry has became a sort of
>> zombie of some kind, for a time, I would suggest he trusts Harry and his
>> doctor. If he is prepared to bet on comp. Once he bet on comp, the nature of
>> the ultimate consituants of what do the computation, relatively to its usual
>> environments, does not matter.
> Yes, once one has bet on comp, the distinction between "software" and
> "hardware" is one of relative level rather than fundamental ontology.
> You appear to confirm my thought that the best evidence that the
> replacement brain implements the right computation is its behaviour,
> and hence that of the recipient.  So Dick can only rely on his
> assessment of Harry's behaviour to give him confidence for his own bet
> on this particular doctor's expertise.  However, given the potential
> for getting the substitution level wrong in some way, and the finite
> nature of any possible test, just how much can Dick trust that his
> friend hasn't been affected in some hard-to-detect way, despite all
> his assurances to the contrary?  As you observe, this may well become
> a pragmatic, as opposed to merely philosophical, issue in the
> not-too-distant future.  Suffice it to say, I'm unlikely to be an
> early adopter!

Dick could have the same doubts about any medical treatment short of
total brain replacement. Perhaps taking perindopril for hypertension
turns people into zombies.

Stathis Papaioannou

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