# Re: Edge.org: 2014 : WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? The Computational Metaphor

```
On 17 Jan 2014, at 23:24, John Mikes wrote:```
```
```
```Stathis and List:

```
from time to time it is useful to recall what we are thinking behind 'words'. Is the 'brain' as used in this exchange indeed 'brainfunction'? (ref. to "functionalism vs computationalism") To 'preserve mind' begs the question how it is differentiated in this exchange?
```
?
```
"preserve minds" means that it is not differentiated. Thinks about you after the WM-duplication, before you open the door of the reconstitution box. Then the differentiation occurs when opening the door, as your "same mind" is put in two different alternate context (Washington and Moscow).
```

```
Then again 'intelligence' is a flexible item (I start from "inter" - "lego" = to read between the lines, not to stick to the (written?) words proper).
```
OK.

```
In fact this is my criteria for a theory. The theory is 100% invariant with respect to the choice of wording.
```
When we write the theory in first order logic, this is guarantied.

The theory

x + 0 = x
x + s(y) = s(x + y)

x *0 = 0
x*s(y) = x*y + x

```
is equivalent with the theory (assuming the equality axiom for elise (that "x elise x", "x elise y implies y elise x", etc.)
```
variable1 paul johnson elise  variable1
```
variable1 paul hercule(variable2) elise hercule(variable1 paul variable2)
```
variable1 claude johnson elise johnson
```
variable1 claude hercule(varable2) elise (variable1 claude varable2 ) paul variable1
```
```
So if you want to see if your theory does not introduce implicit intuition through the choice of some wording, just change all words ...
```
```
In mathematics, we are always left with "only relata", like in Mermin's QM.
```
```
That is why I am not happy when Stephen says that it assumes existence. It could have said that it assumes popiutyscaptle. I need some axiom on that to say anything ...
```
```
The advantage of proceeding like this is that when you prove a theorem it will be true in all possible interpretations of the theory.
```
Bruno

```
The 'non-computable physics' in Penrose's brain begs the question: "STILL" or "NOT AT ALL"? Is the acceptance of the NEW a mindfunction only, (increasing the knowledge-base), or can be done by a hypercomputer as well (without proper programming for the so far unknowables' input???) And I hate the references to 'zombies', whatever one thinks about them.
```I stick to my common sense in my agnosticism.

John Mikes

```
On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 7:28 PM, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com > wrote:
```On 16 January 2014 23:08, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
>
> On 16 Jan 2014, at 09:11, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>
>> On 16 January 2014 16:26, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
```
>>> The computational metaphor in the sense of the brain works like the Intel >>> CPU inside the box on your desk is clearly misleading, but the sense that
```>>> a
>>> computer can in theory do everything your brain can do is almost
>>> certainly
```
>>> correct. It is not that the brain is like a computer, but rather, that a >>> computer can be like almost anything, including your brain or body, or
```>>> entire planet and all the people on it.
>>>
>>> Jason
>>
>>
>> I think neuroscientists have, over decades, used the computational
```
>> metaphor in too literal a way. It is obviously not true that the brain
```>> is a digital computer, just as it is not true that the weather is a
```
>> digital computer. But a digital computer can simulate the behaviour of
```>> any physical process in the universe (if physics is computable),
>> including the behaviour of weather or the human brain. That means
>> that, at least, it would be possible to make a philosophical zombie
>> using a computer. The only way to avoid this conclusion would be if
```
>> physics, and specifically the physics in the brain, is not computable. >> Pointing out where the non-computable physics is in the brain rarely >> figures on the agenda of the anti-computationalists. And even if there
```>> is non-computational physics in the brain, that invalidates
>> computationalism, but not its superset, functionalism.
>
>
```
> OK. But in a non standard sense of functionalism, as in the philosophy of > mind, functionalism is used for a subset of computationalism. Functionalism > is computationalism with some (unclear) susbtitution level in mind (usually
```> the neurons).
>
```
> Now, I would like to see a precise definition of "your" functionalism. If > you take *all* functions, it becomes trivially true, I think. But any > restriction on the accepted functions, can perhaps lead to some interesting > thesis. For example, the functions computable with this or that oracles, the
```> continuous functions, etc.

Briefly, computationalism is the idea that you could replace the brain
with a Turing machine and you would preserve the mind. This would not
be possible if there is non-computable physics in the brain, as for
example Penrose proposes. But in that case, you could replace the
brain with whatever other type of device is needed, such as a
hypercomputer, and still preserve the mind. I would say that is
consistent with functionalism but not computationalism. The idea that
replicating the function of the brain by whatever means would not
preserve the mind, i.e. would result in a philosophical zombie, is
inconsistent with functionalism.

--
Stathis Papaioannou

--
```
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com.
```To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

--
```
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com.
```To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.
```
```
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email