On 01 Oct 2012, at 19:37, Roger Clough wrote:

Hi Bruno Marchal

A brain in a vat would probably have an autonomous self,
which is needed for everything the brain does.

I don't see how an autonomous self can be present in
a computer, because autonomous means it can't depend
on anything--- especially not hardware or software.

Only God does not depend on anything. An autonomous self depends can only be partially autonomous, it depends on its brain, on its flesh, on food, water, taxes, and many things, in its contingent terrestrial manifestations. Autonomy for any being (≠ God) is always relative to its self and its neighboors.

Let me also say it this alternate way. The output
of an algorithm (let's say a choice, given an input)
is always dependent on what the algorithm did.
And algorithms are software.

But a software can change itself in an autonomous way, relatively to its most probable universal numbers (arithmetical computers).



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