Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread Flammarion



On 24 Sep, 00:45, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/23 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:



  You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
   cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
   the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
   you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?

  Would you respond to this please?

  I don't think CTM solves the HP. I don't think CTM contradicts
  physcialism.

 If you don't think CTM solves the HP then presumably you don't hold
 that conscious states supervene on the physical tokens of particular
 computational types.

They might do inexplocably. But the significant point
is that nothing else solves the HP either,


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread Flammarion



On 24 Sep, 09:14, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:
 On 24 Sep, 00:45, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:



  2009/9/23 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

   You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?

   Would you respond to this please?

   I don't think CTM solves the HP. I don't think CTM contradicts
   physcialism.

  If you don't think CTM solves the HP then presumably you don't hold
  that conscious states supervene on the physical tokens of particular
  computational types.

 They might do inexplocably. But the significant point
 is that nothing else solves the HP either,

Another point that has got rather lost here is that computationalists
tend to be a lot more concerned about cognition than experience, CTM
has no trouble explaining how people play chess.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 If you don't think CTM solves the HP then presumably you don't hold
 that conscious states supervene on the physical tokens of particular
 computational types.

 They might do inexplocably. But the significant point
 is that nothing else solves the HP either,

If you think they might do inexplicably, then presumably you don't
hold that the merely functional association of conscious states with
heterogeneous physical states counts as an adequate explanation.  So
what have we been disagreeing about?  As to nothing else solving the
HP, that has never been relevant to the discussion.

David




 On 24 Sep, 00:45, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/23 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:



  You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
   cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
   the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
   you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?

  Would you respond to this please?

  I don't think CTM solves the HP. I don't think CTM contradicts
  physcialism.

 If you don't think CTM solves the HP then presumably you don't hold
 that conscious states supervene on the physical tokens of particular
 computational types.

 They might do inexplocably. But the significant point
 is that nothing else solves the HP either,


 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 Another point that has got rather lost here is that computationalists
 tend to be a lot more concerned about cognition than experience, CTM
 has no trouble explaining how people play chess.

It hasn't got lost - e.g. two sentences later I said I have no
quarrel with the third-person
notion of computational realisation per se.  Nobody has been
disputing the purely third-person analysis of physical systems in
computational terms.  Under your own definition of mathematical
formalism, such an analysis is an interpretation of a fundamental
physical state of affairs that has utility for certain purposes.
Interpretation of the physical state of affairs people playing chess
in functional terms might be one of them, although this may still beg
some unresolved questions - e.g. the relevance of consciousness in the
HP sense to people's ability to play chess.

David

 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread Flammarion



On 24 Sep, 14:32, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  If you don't think CTM solves the HP then presumably you don't hold
  that conscious states supervene on the physical tokens of particular
  computational types.

  They might do inexplocably. But the significant point
  is that nothing else solves the HP either,

 If you think they might do inexplicably, then presumably you don't
 hold that the merely functional association of conscious states with
 heterogeneous physical states counts as an adequate explanation.  So
 what have we been disagreeing about?  As to nothing else solving the
 HP, that has never been relevant to the discussion.

Why harp on the fact that CTM isn't physicalist enough, if you think
physicalism is equally sueless? After all, phsycialism is just PM
+structure.
The difference is that the structure is finer-grained.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread Flammarion



On 24 Sep, 14:50, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  Another point that has got rather lost here is that computationalists
  tend to be a lot more concerned about cognition than experience, CTM
  has no trouble explaining how people play chess.

 It hasn't got lost - e.g. two sentences later I said I have no
 quarrel with the third-person
 notion of computational realisation per se.

Right..so you are using third person to mean cognitive
and 1st person to mean experiential...?

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread Flammarion



On 24 Sep, 14:32, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  If you don't think CTM solves the HP then presumably you don't hold
  that conscious states supervene on the physical tokens of particular
  computational types.

  They might do inexplocably. But the significant point
  is that nothing else solves the HP either,

 If you think they might do inexplicably, then presumably you don't
 hold that the merely functional association of conscious states with
 heterogeneous physical states counts as an adequate explanation.  So
 what have we been disagreeing about?  As to nothing else solving the
 HP, that has never been relevant to the discussion.

Why harp on the fact that CTM isn't physicalist enough, if you think
physicalism is equally sueless? After all, phsycialism is just PM
+structure.
The difference is that the structure is finer-grained.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread david.nyman

2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 Right..so you are using third person to mean cognitive
 and 1st person to mean experiential...?

I assume that when the term cognitive is used it is intended to be
cashed out in some third-person way.  However, many terms seem to be
used somewhat promiscuously so one can't be sure in any given context.
  When I use experiential I do intend the first-person
interpretation.  But I don't want to be Humpty-Dumptyish about it -
I'm quite prepared to make any necessary distinctions as the situation
dictates.

David


 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread david.nyman

2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 Why harp on the fact that CTM isn't physicalist enough, if you think
 physicalism is equally sueless? After all, phsycialism is just PM
 +structure.
 The difference is that the structure is finer-grained.

Agreed.  But the harping was motivated entirely by its relevance to
the supervenience dispute within CTM.  If CTM is a physical theory, it
should be able to appeal directly and consistently to the low-level
physical account; if it can't, we need another strategy to
disambiguate its actual relation to the physical account.  The latter
conclusion is what motivates the reversal of matter and mathematics in
comp.  The issue is one of consistency and intelligibility.  Whether
either explanatory approach can solve the HP is a separate issue.

David


 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread Flammarion



On 24 Sep, 16:16, david.nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  Why harp on the fact that CTM isn't physicalist enough, if you think
  physicalism is equally sueless? After all, phsycialism is just PM
  +structure.
  The difference is that the structure is finer-grained.

 Agreed.  But the harping was motivated entirely by its relevance to
 the supervenience dispute within CTM.  If CTM is a physical theory, it
 should be able to appeal directly and consistently to the low-level
 physical account;

So you, and only you, say.

if it can't, we need another strategy to
 disambiguate its actual relation to the physical account.  The latter
 conclusion is what motivates the reversal of matter and mathematics in
 comp.

There is no ambiguity in the reduction  of computation
to physics. The remaining problem is the HP.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread Quentin Anciaux
2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com




 On 24 Sep, 16:16, david.nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
  2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:
 
   Why harp on the fact that CTM isn't physicalist enough, if you think
   physicalism is equally sueless? After all, phsycialism is just PM
   +structure.
   The difference is that the structure is finer-grained.
 
  Agreed.  But the harping was motivated entirely by its relevance to
  the supervenience dispute within CTM.  If CTM is a physical theory, it
  should be able to appeal directly and consistently to the low-level
  physical account;

 So you, and only you, say.


No... Again I have to ask you what is the physical relata between executing
a conscious program on a computer, an abaccus, with pen and paper, in my
mind ?
If you answer the abstract computation it's not an answer from your POV
because as you keep saying *it doesn't exist*.

Quentin


 if it can't, we need another strategy to
  disambiguate its actual relation to the physical account.  The latter
  conclusion is what motivates the reversal of matter and mathematics in
  comp.

 There is no ambiguity in the reduction  of computation
 to physics. The remaining problem is the HP.
 



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All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread Flammarion



On 24 Sep, 17:34, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com





  On 24 Sep, 16:16, david.nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
   2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

Why harp on the fact that CTM isn't physicalist enough, if you think
physicalism is equally sueless? After all, phsycialism is just PM
+structure.
The difference is that the structure is finer-grained.

   Agreed.  But the harping was motivated entirely by its relevance to
   the supervenience dispute within CTM.  If CTM is a physical theory, it
   should be able to appeal directly and consistently to the low-level
   physical account;

  So you, and only you, say.

 No... Again I have to ask you what is the physical relata between executing
 a conscious program on a computer, an abaccus, with pen and paper, in my
 mind ?
 If you answer the abstract computation it's not an answer from your POV
 because as you keep saying *it doesn't exist*.

It doesn't exist *independently*. Abstraction is a way of looking
at things in which irrelevant details are suppressed. By suppressing
irrelevant detials I can find an isomorphism between a TTL NAND
gate and  a CMOS NAND gate. etc.

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread Quentin Anciaux
What are the common relevant physical details of all the proposed executing
scheme ?

Quentin

2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com




 On 24 Sep, 17:34, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
  2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com
 
 
 
 
 
   On 24 Sep, 16:16, david.nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:
 
 Why harp on the fact that CTM isn't physicalist enough, if you
 think
 physicalism is equally sueless? After all, phsycialism is just PM
 +structure.
 The difference is that the structure is finer-grained.
 
Agreed.  But the harping was motivated entirely by its relevance to
the supervenience dispute within CTM.  If CTM is a physical theory,
 it
should be able to appeal directly and consistently to the low-level
physical account;
 
   So you, and only you, say.
 
  No... Again I have to ask you what is the physical relata between
 executing
  a conscious program on a computer, an abaccus, with pen and paper, in my
  mind ?
  If you answer the abstract computation it's not an answer from your POV
  because as you keep saying *it doesn't exist*.

 It doesn't exist *independently*. Abstraction is a way of looking
 at things in which irrelevant details are suppressed. By suppressing
 irrelevant detials I can find an isomorphism between a TTL NAND
 gate and  a CMOS NAND gate. etc.

 



-- 
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

if it can't, we need another strategy to
 disambiguate its actual relation to the physical account.  The latter
 conclusion is what motivates the reversal of matter and mathematics in
 comp.

 There is no ambiguity in the reduction  of computation
 to physics.

How long can you go on arguing what is not disputed?  Keep clearly in
mind the third-person, first-person distinction.  There is no
ambiguity in the physical reduction of any realisation from a
third-person perspective.  From this perspective, the homogeneity of
state that supervenes on the physical heterogeneity is merely one of
interpretation - i.e. it is an abstraction and immaterial to the
physical account.  The problem is in introducing a mental type that
equates to the computational one; now you have an actual homogeneity
of experience to explain, not merely a metaphor.

But there is no way to explain it on the basis of any consistent
physical low-level account of a mental type; only a different one for
each occasion of realisation.  We're not only talking about small
differences between brains, we're talking about any arbitrary level of
physical heterogeneity that falls within the type.  This is an
ineluctable consequence of MR.  But it is unrelated to the process of
consistent hierarchical reduction that is central to physical
explanation.

This leaves CTM entirely devoid of any physical basis for attaching a
homogeneous first-person experience to heterogeneous physical
processes other than its own brute general posit; and circularity can
count as explanation in nobody's book.  This point is never argued in
detail by supporters of CTM - rather anyone who points it out is
denounced as unenlightened and unworthy of a reply in kind.  Certainly
they don't get one.

Whether this motivates abandoning PM rather than CTM depends on how
strongly one is committed to PM.  If the fishy smell left by the
shoulder-shrug that passes for physical justification in CTM
nonetheless leaves one with a residual appetite for computationalism
as an explanation for mind, then the switch in metaphysical posit may
be preferable, at least as a working hypothesis.

David

 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread Brent Meeker

David Nyman wrote:
 2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:
 
 if it can't, we need another strategy to
 disambiguate its actual relation to the physical account.  The latter
 conclusion is what motivates the reversal of matter and mathematics in
 comp.
 There is no ambiguity in the reduction  of computation
 to physics.
 
 How long can you go on arguing what is not disputed?  Keep clearly in
 mind the third-person, first-person distinction.  There is no
 ambiguity in the physical reduction of any realisation from a
 third-person perspective.  From this perspective, the homogeneity of
 state that supervenes on the physical heterogeneity is merely one of
 interpretation - i.e. it is an abstraction and immaterial to the
 physical account.  The problem is in introducing a mental type that
 equates to the computational one; now you have an actual homogeneity
 of experience to explain, not merely a metaphor.
 
 But there is no way to explain it on the basis of any consistent
 physical low-level account of a mental type; only a different one for
 each occasion of realisation.  

That's where I think you're asking for the impossible.  An 
account of perception obviously cannot be low-level, it 
must be in the context of perceiving something.  I don't 
think cogitation is qualitatively different, it is, as Hume 
said, just less distinct and vivid.  So there can be no 
low-level explanation of cogitation either.  There can be a 
low-level physics explanation of the physical process of a 
person playing chess - but to explain it *as playing chess* 
requires a context in which chess is meaningful.

 We're not only talking about small
 differences between brains, we're talking about any arbitrary level of
 physical heterogeneity that falls within the type.  This is an
 ineluctable consequence of MR.  But it is unrelated to the process of
 consistent hierarchical reduction that is central to physical
 explanation.

The physical heterogeneity can only extend as far as the 
boundary beyond which there is a context which allows the 
process to be defined as a computation or a thought.  An 
artificial brain in a human body can have human like 
experiences because it functions within our world.  If it is 
functionally detached from our world, i.e. has no causal 
history linking it to events in our world, then it will be 
no more conscious than a rock in our world.  This is hard to 
think about because in the case of the artificial brain, 
unlike the rock, there are intermediate degrees of relation 
to our world, e.g. it interacts with a tape of our world.

I know you will say this is 3rd-person.  But as I understand 
the terms, I think it is impossible to *give* a 1st-person 
account since a 1st-person would have to be something you 
experience.

 
 This leaves CTM entirely devoid of any physical basis for attaching a
 homogeneous first-person experience to heterogeneous physical
 processes other than its own brute general posit; and circularity can
 count as explanation in nobody's book.  

But a brute posit can count as explanation if it turns out 
to correctly predict something we didn't know.  When Newton 
was asked what transmitted the gravitational force between 
bodies, he replied, Hypothesi non fingo.

Brent

This point is never argued in
 detail by supporters of CTM - rather anyone who points it out is
 denounced as unenlightened and unworthy of a reply in kind.  Certainly
 they don't get one.
 
 Whether this motivates abandoning PM rather than CTM depends on how
 strongly one is committed to PM.  If the fishy smell left by the
 shoulder-shrug that passes for physical justification in CTM
 nonetheless leaves one with a residual appetite for computationalism
 as an explanation for mind, then the switch in metaphysical posit may
 be preferable, at least as a working hypothesis.
 
 David
 
 
  
 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread m.a.
And HP stands for???



- Original Message - 
From: David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Sent: Thursday, September 24, 2009 9:50 AM
Subject: Re: Dreaming On



2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 Another point that has got rather lost here is that computationalists
 tend to be a lot more concerned about cognition than experience, CTM
 has no trouble explaining how people play chess.

It hasn't got lost - e.g. two sentences later I said I have no
quarrel with the third-person
notion of computational realisation per se.  Nobody has been
disputing the purely third-person analysis of physical systems in
computational terms.  Under your own definition of mathematical
formalism, such an analysis is an interpretation of a fundamental
physical state of affairs that has utility for certain purposes.
Interpretation of the physical state of affairs people playing chess
in functional terms might be one of them, although this may still beg
some unresolved questions - e.g. the relevance of consciousness in the
HP sense to people's ability to play chess.

David

 



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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-24 Thread Bruno Marchal

On 25 Sep 2009, at 02:07, m.a. wrote:

 And HP stands for???


I guess it means Hard Problem (of consciousness).

I prefer to use mind-body problem (or hard mind-body problem in some  
context).

I use also HPC (hard problem of consciousness) to distinguish it from  
the HPM (hard problem of matter, which is the problem of existence of  
not of primary matter, the nature of matter, where does it comes from,  
how to explain matter without postulating it as primitive, etc.  
Physicists never address this problem explicitly.

Bruno





 - Original Message -
 From: David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com
 To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
 Sent: Thursday, September 24, 2009 9:50 AM
 Subject: Re: Dreaming On


 2009/9/24 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  Another point that has got rather lost here is that  
 computationalists
  tend to be a lot more concerned about cognition than experience, CTM
  has no trouble explaining how people play chess.

 It hasn't got lost - e.g. two sentences later I said I have no
 quarrel with the third-person
 notion of computational realisation per se.  Nobody has been
 disputing the purely third-person analysis of physical systems in
 computational terms.  Under your own definition of mathematical
 formalism, such an analysis is an interpretation of a fundamental
 physical state of affairs that has utility for certain purposes.
 Interpretation of the physical state of affairs people playing chess
 in functional terms might be one of them, although this may still beg
 some unresolved questions - e.g. the relevance of consciousness in the
 HP sense to people's ability to play chess.

 David

  
 


 

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-23 Thread Bruno Marchal


On 22 Sep 2009, at 23:47, Flammarion wrote:




 On 22 Sep, 21:53, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
 Well little problem in gmail sorry.

 So I do it again /o\

 Sorry I wanted to write it does *add* nothing.

 Level 0 is not part of the computation. And I still don't see how  
 you can
 relate physically running a program on a computer, and running it  
 on an
 abaccus, with a pen and a sheet of paper, in my mind. The only  
 relation is
 the abstract computation.

 1. The notion of immaterial computation needs defense since all known
 computers are material

Physicisist cannot yet define computation (except in a sense  
immaterial quantum computations).

it is a notion dicovered by mathematicians.

I am no more sure what you mean by computation, now. How does your  
primary matter implements computations?

Bruno




 2. Level 0 as part of materialism makes a difference because it makes
 different
 predictions about what I will probably* observe.

 3. Contrived BIV scenarios do not affect what I will probably*
 observe.

 

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-23 Thread David Nyman

On Sep 23, 3:20 am, Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com wrote:

  What would make a theory of consciousness a
  physical theory would be a normal causal account of a succession of
  physical states, the experience that accompanies them, and the precise
  relation between them.  Such a theory would of course escape the
  vulnerability to accusations of lack of meaningful physical commitment
  inherent in MR.

 Such a theory is available.  It is the evolutionary account of the
 development of consciousness, c.f. Thomas Metzinger, Antonio Damasio,
 Julian Jaynes, Daniel Dennett.

Well, I've read Damasio, Jaynes and Dennett, all at some length, and
whilst each offers fascinating insight from his own perspective, I
don't think that any of them could be said to offer a physical causal
theory of first-person experience in the sense we are discussing
here.  Does Metzinger go any further?  I've got quite a lot on my
reading list so I've been resisting the temptation to add him to it
for the moment - should I succumb?

 Knowing the physical function of a species sensors and the evolutionary 
 history
 of it's environment you could infer what it is conscious of.

True, but this is to give a third-person behavioural account, not a
first-person experiential one.  I'm right in assuming that you don't
intend to offer a third-person account as an eliminativist dismissal
of first-person experience - yes?  I didn't think that was your
position, but you've made this kind of comment so frequently recently
that I'm starting to wonder.

David

 David Nyman wrote:
  2009/9/22 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  So what did you mean the reader to conclude from your original
  argument?
  I wasn't trying to settle the whole issue in one go.

  You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
  cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
  the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
  you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?

  Would you respond to this please?

  I find them both quite contestable
  If you would risk saying precisely why, you might have a counter-argument.
  e.g.
 http://philpapers.org/rec/KLEDIS

  Klein's criticism of Maudlin is concerned with constraining what might
  be considered a valid computational realisation.  Were this accepted
  as reasonable, he could attack that particular reductio by disputing
  the adequacy of the realisation.  This is however a separate question
  to the lack of any consistent justification of the association of
  homogeneous experiential states to heterogeneous physical ones, which
  does not depend on any particular reductio argument.  Klein does not
  set out to address this issue, but tips his hand by remarking that I
  remain neutral between identifying the disposition with the
  first-order property or treating it as a second-order property that is
  realized in each case by some first-order property.

  The problem with CTM as a physical theory is that it violates normal
  standards of physical explanation.  The very notion of computation is
  based not on a consistent self-selection of a specific
  physically-defined class of events, but rather on an external
  interpretation of a functionally-defined class. This is not
  problematic in the third-person sense, but if a first-person
  experiential state is to be considered equivalent merely to what we
  could say about something, then it is not a physical state in any
  normally understood sense. What would make a theory of consciousness a
  physical theory would be a normal causal account of a succession of
  physical states, the experience that accompanies them, and the precise
  relation between them.  Such a theory would of course escape the
  vulnerability to accusations of lack of meaningful physical commitment
  inherent in MR.

 Such a theory is available.  It is the evolutionary account of the
 development of consciousness, c.f. Thomas Metzinger, Antonio Damasio,
 Julian Jaynes, Daniel Dennett.  Knowing the physical function of a
 species sensors and the evolutionary history of it's environment you
 could infer what it is conscious of.

 Brent
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-23 Thread Brent Meeker

David Nyman wrote:
 On Sep 23, 3:20 am, Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com wrote:
 
   What would make a theory of consciousness a
 physical theory would be a normal causal account of a succession of
 physical states, the experience that accompanies them, and the precise
 relation between them.  Such a theory would of course escape the
 vulnerability to accusations of lack of meaningful physical commitment
 inherent in MR.
 Such a theory is available.  It is the evolutionary account of the
 development of consciousness, c.f. Thomas Metzinger, Antonio Damasio,
 Julian Jaynes, Daniel Dennett.
 
 Well, I've read Damasio, Jaynes and Dennett, all at some length, and
 whilst each offers fascinating insight from his own perspective, I
 don't think that any of them could be said to offer a physical causal
 theory of first-person experience in the sense we are discussing
 here.  Does Metzinger go any further?  I've got quite a lot on my
 reading list so I've been resisting the temptation to add him to it
 for the moment - should I succumb?
 
 Knowing the physical function of a species sensors and the evolutionary 
 history
 of it's environment you could infer what it is conscious of.
 
 True, but this is to give a third-person behavioural account, not a
 first-person experiential one.  I'm right in assuming that you don't
 intend to offer a third-person account as an eliminativist dismissal
 of first-person experience - yes?  I didn't think that was your
 position, but you've made this kind of comment so frequently recently
 that I'm starting to wonder.

I don't have a position on such an unsettled question.  But I think what you 
are asking 
  is incoherent - a first-person account physical account of experience.  Can 
you give an 
example what such an account might look like?

Brent

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-23 Thread Flammarion



On 23 Sep, 02:06, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/22 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  So what did you mean the reader to conclude from your original
  argument?

  I wasn't trying to settle the whole issue in one go.

 You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
  cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
  the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
  you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?

 Would you respond to this please?

I don't think CTM solves the HP. I don't think CTM contradicts
physcialism.

   I find them both quite contestable

  If you would risk saying precisely why, you might have a counter-argument.

  e.g.
 http://philpapers.org/rec/KLEDIS

 Klein's criticism of Maudlin is concerned with constraining what might
 be considered a valid computational realisation.  Were this accepted
 as reasonable, he could attack that particular reductio by disputing
 the adequacy of the realisation.  This is however a separate question
 to the lack of any consistent justification of the association of
 homogeneous experiential states to heterogeneous physical ones, which
 does not depend on any particular reductio argument.  Klein does not
 set out to address this issue, but tips his hand by remarking that I
 remain neutral between identifying the disposition with the
 first-order property or treating it as a second-order property that is
 realized in each case by some first-order property.

 The problem with CTM as a physical theory is that it violates normal
 standards of physical explanation.

Alternatively, that is what is just so handy about it

The very notion of computation is
 based not on a consistent self-selection of a specific
 physically-defined class of events, but rather on an external
 interpretation of a functionally-defined class.

Says who? The in-the-eye-of the observer notion of computation
is contentious. The addition of side-constraints, such as
counterfactuals,
to the defintiion of computation is motivated precisely to avoid
dryign paint implementing any possible computation. And the
Maudlin argument exploits that to show that computation is narrowed
down so much that no physical system can compute a mind. And then the
Klein
argument widens the definition of computation out again

...the moral of the story being that you can't have your argument
that computing is in the eye of the beholder AND your
your firm faith in the MGA/olympia style of argument.
They work from different assumptions.


This is not
 problematic in the third-person sense, but if a first-person
 experiential state is to be considered equivalent merely to what we
 could say about something, then it is not a physical state in any
 normally understood sense. What would make a theory of consciousness a
 physical theory would be a normal causal account of a succession of
 physical states, the experience that accompanies them, and the precise
 relation between them.  Such a theory would of course escape the
 vulnerability to accusations of lack of meaningful physical commitment
 inherent in MR.

  The point at issue is not whether there is only one way to realise a
  computation, or to get from A to B.  The point is that in the case of
  the journey, the transition from physical irrelevance to relevance is
  at the point where the physical result emerges as identical - i.e. as
  the same journey form A to B.  In the case of the computation, no such
  physical identity of result ever emerges;

  Instead there is functional identity and functional relevance...

 Sure, and that makes CTM a functional theory, supervening on
 functional relata, and appealing to a purely functional association
 with consciousness.  In what remaining sense that makes any difference
 can CTM claim to be a materialist theory?

It doesn;t need anything non-physical, as I have said
several times.

To say that nonetheless it
 must be materially instantiated is no answer; it is merely begging the
 question.

It doesn;t require anything non-physical either.

 all you have is a collection
  of heterogeneous physical processes, each merely *formally* identical
  to a given computation.  It is a further - and physically entirely ad
  hoc - assumption that this heterogeneity of physical states is
  homogeneous with a single experiential state.

  It is not entirely ad hoc because not every physical system
  implements every computation.

 The fact that not every physical system implements every computation
 doesn't reduce the ad-hoccery in the slightest, because the whole
 notion of implementation is immaterial from the outset.  There's
 nothing physically fundamental about a computationally-defined
 'realisation' - it is merely an externally-imposed interpretation of a
 physical state of affairs that is perfectly capable of causing
 whatever lies within its powers without such aid.  The only
 interesting question from a 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-23 Thread Flammarion



On 23 Sep, 03:20, Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com wrote:
 David Nyman wrote:
inherent in MR.

 Such a theory is available.  It is the evolutionary account of the
 development of consciousness, c.f. Thomas Metzinger, Antonio Damasio,
 Julian Jaynes, Daniel Dennett.  Knowing the physical function of a
 species sensors and the evolutionary history of it's environment you
 could infer what it is conscious of.

It doesn't address the HP of coruse.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-23 Thread Flammarion



On 23 Sep, 08:00, Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be wrote:
 On 22 Sep 2009, at 23:47, Flammarion wrote:





  On 22 Sep, 21:53, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
  Well little problem in gmail sorry.

  So I do it again /o\

  Sorry I wanted to write it does *add* nothing.

  Level 0 is not part of the computation. And I still don't see how
  you can
  relate physically running a program on a computer, and running it
  on an
  abaccus, with a pen and a sheet of paper, in my mind. The only
  relation is
  the abstract computation.

  1. The notion of immaterial computation needs defense since all known
  computers are material

 Physicisist cannot yet define computation (except in a sense
 immaterial quantum computations).

I have absolutely no idea why you would say that. Physicists tend to
have computers on their desks and tend to regard them as physical.

 it is a notion dicovered by mathematicians.

matehmaticians can discover numebrs, but they
still need matterial things to writh them with,

 I am no more sure what you mean by computation, now. How does your
 primary matter implements computations?

Same way it implements being a chair.
By beign the bearer of properties that
implement it.


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-23 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/23 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:


 You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
  cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
  the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
  you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?

 Would you respond to this please?

 I don't think CTM solves the HP. I don't think CTM contradicts
 physcialism.

If you don't think CTM solves the HP then presumably you don't hold
that conscious states supervene on the physical tokens of particular
computational types.  In that case we need no longer debate the
association of physical and conscious states qua computatio.  I have
no quarrel with the third-person notion of computational realisation
per se, and consequently I have no further arguments to offer.

David


  So what did you mean the reader to conclude from your original
  argument?

  I wasn't trying to settle the whole issue in one go.

 You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
  cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
  the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
  you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?

 Would you respond to this please?

 I don't think CTM solves the HP. I don't think CTM contradicts
 physcialism.

   I find them both quite contestable

  If you would risk saying precisely why, you might have a counter-argument.

  e.g.
 http://philpapers.org/rec/KLEDIS

 Klein's criticism of Maudlin is concerned with constraining what might
 be considered a valid computational realisation.  Were this accepted
 as reasonable, he could attack that particular reductio by disputing
 the adequacy of the realisation.  This is however a separate question
 to the lack of any consistent justification of the association of
 homogeneous experiential states to heterogeneous physical ones, which
 does not depend on any particular reductio argument.  Klein does not
 set out to address this issue, but tips his hand by remarking that I
 remain neutral between identifying the disposition with the
 first-order property or treating it as a second-order property that is
 realized in each case by some first-order property.

 The problem with CTM as a physical theory is that it violates normal
 standards of physical explanation.

 Alternatively, that is what is just so handy about it

The very notion of computation is
 based not on a consistent self-selection of a specific
 physically-defined class of events, but rather on an external
 interpretation of a functionally-defined class.

 Says who? The in-the-eye-of the observer notion of computation
 is contentious. The addition of side-constraints, such as
 counterfactuals,
 to the defintiion of computation is motivated precisely to avoid
 dryign paint implementing any possible computation. And the
 Maudlin argument exploits that to show that computation is narrowed
 down so much that no physical system can compute a mind. And then the
 Klein
 argument widens the definition of computation out again

 ...the moral of the story being that you can't have your argument
 that computing is in the eye of the beholder AND your
 your firm faith in the MGA/olympia style of argument.
 They work from different assumptions.


This is not
 problematic in the third-person sense, but if a first-person
 experiential state is to be considered equivalent merely to what we
 could say about something, then it is not a physical state in any
 normally understood sense. What would make a theory of consciousness a
 physical theory would be a normal causal account of a succession of
 physical states, the experience that accompanies them, and the precise
 relation between them.  Such a theory would of course escape the
 vulnerability to accusations of lack of meaningful physical commitment
 inherent in MR.

  The point at issue is not whether there is only one way to realise a
  computation, or to get from A to B.  The point is that in the case of
  the journey, the transition from physical irrelevance to relevance is
  at the point where the physical result emerges as identical - i.e. as
  the same journey form A to B.  In the case of the computation, no such
  physical identity of result ever emerges;

  Instead there is functional identity and functional relevance...

 Sure, and that makes CTM a functional theory, supervening on
 functional relata, and appealing to a purely functional association
 with consciousness.  In what remaining sense that makes any difference
 can CTM claim to be a materialist theory?

 It doesn;t need anything non-physical, as I have said
 several times.

To say that nonetheless it
 must be materially instantiated is no answer; it is merely begging the
 question.

 It doesn;t require anything non-physical either.

 all you have is a collection
  of heterogeneous physical processes, each merely *formally* identical
  to a given 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-23 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/23 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

 True, but this is to give a third-person behavioural account, not a
 first-person experiential one.  I'm right in assuming that you don't
 intend to offer a third-person account as an eliminativist dismissal
 of first-person experience - yes?  I didn't think that was your
 position, but you've made this kind of comment so frequently recently
 that I'm starting to wonder.

 I don't have a position on such an unsettled question.

Perhaps you misunderstand me.  Do you mean to suggest that the denial
of first-person experience, as a 'solution' to the mind-body problem,
is an unsettled question?  Or that you are willing to entertain such a
denial?

  But I think what you are asking
  is incoherent - a first-person account physical account of experience.  Can 
 you give an
 example what such an account might look like?

I wasn't asking for that.  I was extrapolating, for the purposes of
this particular discussion, from the line of argument that assumes the
primacy of matter and physical causation.  On this basis, I would
expect a physical theory of consciousness to take the form of a
consistent mapping from a low-level physical account to a high-level
experiential account, exactly as is the case with physical reductions
of life, weather, or other higher-order physical phenomena (as you
yourself have suggested to me more than once).  This is not to say
that I'm in any way convinced that first-person experience can be
explained satisfactorily in this manner, but it's what a physical
account should look like if consciousness is deemed to supervene on
physical states in any standardly justified sense.

David


 David Nyman wrote:
 On Sep 23, 3:20 am, Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com wrote:

   What would make a theory of consciousness a
 physical theory would be a normal causal account of a succession of
 physical states, the experience that accompanies them, and the precise
 relation between them.  Such a theory would of course escape the
 vulnerability to accusations of lack of meaningful physical commitment
 inherent in MR.
 Such a theory is available.  It is the evolutionary account of the
 development of consciousness, c.f. Thomas Metzinger, Antonio Damasio,
 Julian Jaynes, Daniel Dennett.

 Well, I've read Damasio, Jaynes and Dennett, all at some length, and
 whilst each offers fascinating insight from his own perspective, I
 don't think that any of them could be said to offer a physical causal
 theory of first-person experience in the sense we are discussing
 here.  Does Metzinger go any further?  I've got quite a lot on my
 reading list so I've been resisting the temptation to add him to it
 for the moment - should I succumb?

 Knowing the physical function of a species sensors and the evolutionary 
 history
 of it's environment you could infer what it is conscious of.

 True, but this is to give a third-person behavioural account, not a
 first-person experiential one.  I'm right in assuming that you don't
 intend to offer a third-person account as an eliminativist dismissal
 of first-person experience - yes?  I didn't think that was your
 position, but you've made this kind of comment so frequently recently
 that I'm starting to wonder.

 I don't have a position on such an unsettled question.  But I think what 
 you are asking
  is incoherent - a first-person account physical account of experience.  Can 
 you give an
 example what such an account might look like?

 Brent

 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-22 Thread Flammarion


On 1 Sep, 18:14, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/1 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

 The level 0 has nothing that can be detected/tested if CTM is true
 by a computational observer (us if CTM is true).


If a level 0 is part of the standard package of materialism,
it is testable because small world materialism makes different
predictions about
what will be observed, particularly WRs, than mathematical
many-worlds. To put it another way., the theories are as
testable as each other.

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-22 Thread Quentin Anciaux
2009/9/22 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com



 On 1 Sep, 18:14, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
  2009/9/1 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

  The level 0 has nothing that can be detected/tested if CTM is true
  by a computational observer (us if CTM is true).


 If a level 0 is part of the standard package of materialism,
 it is testable because small world materialism makes different
 predictions about
 what will be observed, particularly WRs, than mathematical
 many-worlds. To put it another way., the theories are as
 testable as each other.


No because computational observer has *no* access to any external thing. If
you are computational in essence I can run you and give you any input I want
and you can't rely on your measure to assert anything.

Quentin



 



-- 
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-22 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 18:35, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:

 What this shows is that CTM and comp are not different, but rather
 that comp is CTM properly understood.  Its 'supervention' on
 virtualisation - i.e. a bottomless stack as perceived from inside -
 means that demanding that it further supervene on distinguishable
 'platonic entities' is equivalent to demanding that it further
 supervene on PM, and hence equally superfluous.  That is, you can
 believe it if you like but it is inconsequential.  I realise that
 these conclusions are surprising (they certainly surprise me) and that
 of course they are not what most believers (and it is a belief) in CTM
 assume; but that does not mitigate their force.

Bruno can conclude that but he certainly shouldn't assume it.

 What is consequent on all of this is that prior acceptance of CTM
 nullifies the force of your sceptical argument, because in making the
 assumption you have perforce abandoned scepticism with regard to its
 necessary consequences.  If you like, belief in CTM is belief in the
 ghost in the machine, and ghosts and machines don't interact.  You may
 regain your more general scepticism at the cost of relinquishing the
 assumption of CTM.

Nothing of the kind follows from CTM unless you can make
a MGA or Olympia argument work
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-22 Thread Flammarion



On 22 Sep, 21:29, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/22 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com





  On 1 Sep, 18:14, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
   2009/9/1 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

   The level 0 has nothing that can be detected/tested if CTM is true
   by a computational observer (us if CTM is true).

  If a level 0 is part of the standard package of materialism,
  it is testable because small world materialism makes different
  predictions about
  what will be observed, particularly WRs, than mathematical
  many-worlds. To put it another way., the theories are as
  testable as each other.

 No because computational observer has *no* access to any external thing. If
 you are computational in essence I can run you and give you any input I want
 and you can't rely on your measure to assert anything.

It is very unlikely I would find myself in such a  contrived scenario,
when
there are many other corners of Platonia I could land in.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-22 Thread Quentin Anciaux
2009/9/22 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com




 On 22 Sep, 21:29, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
  2009/9/22 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com
 
 
 
 
 
   On 1 Sep, 18:14, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
2009/9/1 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:
 
The level 0 has nothing that can be detected/tested if CTM is true
by a computational observer (us if CTM is true).
 
   If a level 0 is part of the standard package of materialism,
   it is testable because small world materialism makes different
   predictions about
   what will be observed, particularly WRs, than mathematical
   many-worlds. To put it another way., the theories are as
   testable as each other.
 
  No because computational observer has *no* access to any external thing.
 If
  you are computational in essence I can run you and give you any input I
 want
  and you can't rely on your measure to assert anything.

 It is very unlikely I would find myself in such a  contrived scenario,
 when
 there are many other corners of Platonia I could land in.


Sure, but you can't have access to level 0 if you are computational, no
matter what you say, it doesn't play a role.

If it does had nothing to the computation (and it does had nothing), I see
no reason to postulate one... to call it propertyless or whatever, it is
useless.



 



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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-22 Thread Quentin Anciaux
Sorry I wanted to write it does *add* nothing.

Level 0 is not part of the computation. And I still don't see how you can
relate physically running a program on a computer, a



2009/9/22 Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com

 2009/9/22 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com




 On 22 Sep, 21:29, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
  2009/9/22 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com
 
 
 
 
 
   On 1 Sep, 18:14, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
2009/9/1 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:
 
The level 0 has nothing that can be detected/tested if CTM is true
by a computational observer (us if CTM is true).
 
   If a level 0 is part of the standard package of materialism,
   it is testable because small world materialism makes different
   predictions about
   what will be observed, particularly WRs, than mathematical
   many-worlds. To put it another way., the theories are as
   testable as each other.
 
  No because computational observer has *no* access to any external thing.
 If
  you are computational in essence I can run you and give you any input I
 want
  and you can't rely on your measure to assert anything.

 It is very unlikely I would find myself in such a  contrived scenario,
 when
 there are many other corners of Platonia I could land in.


 Sure, but you can't have access to level 0 if you are computational, no
 matter what you say, it doesn't play a role.

 If it does had nothing to the computation (and it does had nothing), I see
 no reason to postulate one... to call it propertyless or whatever, it is
 useless.



 



 --
 All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.




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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-22 Thread Quentin Anciaux
Well little problem in gmail sorry.

So I do it again /o\

Sorry I wanted to write it does *add* nothing.

Level 0 is not part of the computation. And I still don't see how you can
relate physically running a program on a computer, and running it on an
abaccus, with a pen and a sheet of paper, in my mind. The only relation is
the abstract computation.

Quentin



2009/9/22 Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com

 Sorry I wanted to write it does *add* nothing.

 Level 0 is not part of the computation. And I still don't see how you can
 relate physically running a program on a computer, a



 2009/9/22 Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com

 2009/9/22 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com




 On 22 Sep, 21:29, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
  2009/9/22 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com
 
 
 
 
 
   On 1 Sep, 18:14, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
2009/9/1 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:
 
The level 0 has nothing that can be detected/tested if CTM is
 true
by a computational observer (us if CTM is true).
 
   If a level 0 is part of the standard package of materialism,
   it is testable because small world materialism makes different
   predictions about
   what will be observed, particularly WRs, than mathematical
   many-worlds. To put it another way., the theories are as
   testable as each other.
 
  No because computational observer has *no* access to any external
 thing. If
  you are computational in essence I can run you and give you any input I
 want
  and you can't rely on your measure to assert anything.

 It is very unlikely I would find myself in such a  contrived scenario,
 when
 there are many other corners of Platonia I could land in.


 Sure, but you can't have access to level 0 if you are computational, no
 matter what you say, it doesn't play a role.

 If it does had nothing to the computation (and it does had nothing), I see
 no reason to postulate one... to call it propertyless or whatever, it is
 useless.



 



 --
 All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.




 --
 All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.




-- 
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-22 Thread Flammarion



On 13 Sep, 17:51, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/11 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  I'm not sure I see what distinction you're making.  If as you say the
  realisation of computation in a physical system doesn't cause
  consciousness, that would entail that no physically-realised
  computation could be identical to any mental state.

  That doesn't follow because causation and identity are different
  The realisation could be consciousness (fire IS combustion)
  without causing it (fire CAUSES smoke but it not smoke)

 So what did you mean the reader to conclude from your original
 argument?  

I wasn't trying to settle the whole issue in one go.

You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
 cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
 the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
 you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?



  This is what
  follows if one accepts the argument from MGA or Olympia that
  consciousness does not attach to physical states qua computatio.

  I find them both quite contestable

 If you would risk saying precisely why, you might have a counter-argument.

e.g.
http://philpapers.org/rec/KLEDIS

  I agree.  Nonetheless, when two states are functionally equivalent one
  can still say what it is about them that is physically relevant.  For
  example, in driving from A to B it is functionally irrelevant to my
  experience whether my car is fuelled by petrol or diesel.  But there
  is no ambiguity about the physical details of my car trip or precisely
  how either fuel contributes to this effect.

  One can say what it is about physical systems that explains
  its ability to realise a certain computation. One can't say that
  there is anything that makes it exclusively able to. Equally
  one can explain various ways of getting from A to B, but
  one can't argue that there is only one possible way.

 The point at issue is not whether there is only one way to realise a
 computation, or to get from A to B.  The point is that in the case of
 the journey, the transition from physical irrelevance to relevance is
 at the point where the physical result emerges as identical - i.e. as
 the same journey form A to B.  In the case of the computation, no such
 physical identity of result ever emerges;

Instead there is functional identity and functional relevance...

all you have is a collection
 of heterogeneous physical processes, each merely *formally* identical
 to a given computation.  It is a further - and physically entirely ad
 hoc - assumption that this heterogeneity of physical states is
 homogeneous with a single experiential state.

It is not entirely ad hoc because not every physical system
implements every computation.

  Yes, I agree.  But if we're after a physical theory, we also want to
  be able to give in either case a clear physical account of their
  apprehensiveness, which would include a physical justification of why
  the fine-grained differences make no difference at the level of
  experience.

  THat would be because they make no computational difference,
  if CTM is correct.

 If all you have to offer is circular arguments we shall simply go
 round in circles.


Saying CTM is wrong because it is based
on computational equivalence not physical equivalence is circular.

  I can only suppose that complete arbitrariness would be a random
  association between physical states and mental states.  This is not
  what is meant by arbitrary realisation.  What is meant is that the
  requirement that a physical system be deemed conscious purely in
  virtue of its implementing a computation rules out no particular kind
  of physical realisation.  Consequently a theory of this type is
  incapable of explicating general principles of physical-mental
  association independent of its functional posit.

  It isn't. Why is that a problem?

 The problem is that theories which aren't reducible to fundamental
 physics don't warrant consideration as physical theories.  

It is reducible, since you can give an account
of why a particular physical system implements a particular
computation. What you don't have it type-type identity.
You can;t say that  a particular type of system --electronic,
organic, etc-- is associated with particular types of computation
or mentation. Compuationalists see that as an advantage.
It is not clear why you do not.

This is
 amply demonstrated by the fact that, when reduced to a physical
 interpretation, CTM is in fact shown to entail gross implausibilities.

SO it is alleged.

  Yes, but the upshot is that CTM is reduced to the theory that
  conscious states can be associated with material systems only in a
  manner that ex hypothesi must obscure any prospect of a general
  reduction of their detailed material causes, because any such causes
  could only be specific to each realisation.

  You can have as many material details as you like
  so 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-22 Thread Flammarion



On 22 Sep, 21:53, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
 Well little problem in gmail sorry.

 So I do it again /o\

 Sorry I wanted to write it does *add* nothing.

 Level 0 is not part of the computation. And I still don't see how you can
 relate physically running a program on a computer, and running it on an
 abaccus, with a pen and a sheet of paper, in my mind. The only relation is
 the abstract computation.

1. The notion of immaterial computation needs defense since all known
computers are material

2. Level 0 as part of materialism makes a difference because it makes
different
predictions about what I will probably* observe.

3. Contrived BIV scenarios do not affect what I will probably*
observe.

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-22 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/22 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 So what did you mean the reader to conclude from your original
 argument?

 I wasn't trying to settle the whole issue in one go.

You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
 cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
 the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
 you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?

Would you respond to this please?

  I find them both quite contestable

 If you would risk saying precisely why, you might have a counter-argument.

 e.g.
 http://philpapers.org/rec/KLEDIS

Klein's criticism of Maudlin is concerned with constraining what might
be considered a valid computational realisation.  Were this accepted
as reasonable, he could attack that particular reductio by disputing
the adequacy of the realisation.  This is however a separate question
to the lack of any consistent justification of the association of
homogeneous experiential states to heterogeneous physical ones, which
does not depend on any particular reductio argument.  Klein does not
set out to address this issue, but tips his hand by remarking that I
remain neutral between identifying the disposition with the
first-order property or treating it as a second-order property that is
realized in each case by some first-order property.

The problem with CTM as a physical theory is that it violates normal
standards of physical explanation.  The very notion of computation is
based not on a consistent self-selection of a specific
physically-defined class of events, but rather on an external
interpretation of a functionally-defined class. This is not
problematic in the third-person sense, but if a first-person
experiential state is to be considered equivalent merely to what we
could say about something, then it is not a physical state in any
normally understood sense. What would make a theory of consciousness a
physical theory would be a normal causal account of a succession of
physical states, the experience that accompanies them, and the precise
relation between them.  Such a theory would of course escape the
vulnerability to accusations of lack of meaningful physical commitment
inherent in MR.

 The point at issue is not whether there is only one way to realise a
 computation, or to get from A to B.  The point is that in the case of
 the journey, the transition from physical irrelevance to relevance is
 at the point where the physical result emerges as identical - i.e. as
 the same journey form A to B.  In the case of the computation, no such
 physical identity of result ever emerges;

 Instead there is functional identity and functional relevance...

Sure, and that makes CTM a functional theory, supervening on
functional relata, and appealing to a purely functional association
with consciousness.  In what remaining sense that makes any difference
can CTM claim to be a materialist theory?  To say that nonetheless it
must be materially instantiated is no answer; it is merely begging the
question.

all you have is a collection
 of heterogeneous physical processes, each merely *formally* identical
 to a given computation.  It is a further - and physically entirely ad
 hoc - assumption that this heterogeneity of physical states is
 homogeneous with a single experiential state.

 It is not entirely ad hoc because not every physical system
 implements every computation.

The fact that not every physical system implements every computation
doesn't reduce the ad-hoccery in the slightest, because the whole
notion of implementation is immaterial from the outset.  There's
nothing physically fundamental about a computationally-defined
'realisation' - it is merely an externally-imposed interpretation of a
physical state of affairs that is perfectly capable of causing
whatever lies within its powers without such aid.  The only
interesting question from a physical perspective is what those powers
might be.

  THat would be because they make no computational difference,
  if CTM is correct.

 If all you have to offer is circular arguments we shall simply go
 round in circles.


 Saying CTM is wrong because it is based
 on computational equivalence not physical equivalence is circular.

I've made it abundantly clear that I'm not saying that CTM is wrong;
I'm just saying that if it's right, then ex hypothesi this cannot be
in virtue of the standard sense of physical causation invoked in any
other context.  That is not circular.  What you're resisting is the
conclusion that this has any necessary entailment for the direction of
inference from the mathematical to the physical, or vice versa.  I
think that in common with reflexive believers in CTM - though you say
you're not of their company - you are surreptitiously and
unjustifiably conflating merely functionally-defined classes of
physical events with primary physical causation, in order to ignore
the intractable problem of justifying a consistent 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-22 Thread Brent Meeker

David Nyman wrote:
 2009/9/22 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:
 
 So what did you mean the reader to conclude from your original
 argument?
 I wasn't trying to settle the whole issue in one go.

 You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
 cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
 the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
 you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?
 
 Would you respond to this please?
 
 I find them both quite contestable
 If you would risk saying precisely why, you might have a counter-argument.
 e.g.
 http://philpapers.org/rec/KLEDIS
 
 Klein's criticism of Maudlin is concerned with constraining what might
 be considered a valid computational realisation.  Were this accepted
 as reasonable, he could attack that particular reductio by disputing
 the adequacy of the realisation.  This is however a separate question
 to the lack of any consistent justification of the association of
 homogeneous experiential states to heterogeneous physical ones, which
 does not depend on any particular reductio argument.  Klein does not
 set out to address this issue, but tips his hand by remarking that I
 remain neutral between identifying the disposition with the
 first-order property or treating it as a second-order property that is
 realized in each case by some first-order property.
 
 The problem with CTM as a physical theory is that it violates normal
 standards of physical explanation.  The very notion of computation is
 based not on a consistent self-selection of a specific
 physically-defined class of events, but rather on an external
 interpretation of a functionally-defined class. This is not
 problematic in the third-person sense, but if a first-person
 experiential state is to be considered equivalent merely to what we
 could say about something, then it is not a physical state in any
 normally understood sense. What would make a theory of consciousness a
 physical theory would be a normal causal account of a succession of
 physical states, the experience that accompanies them, and the precise
 relation between them.  Such a theory would of course escape the
 vulnerability to accusations of lack of meaningful physical commitment
 inherent in MR.

Such a theory is available.  It is the evolutionary account of the 
development of consciousness, c.f. Thomas Metzinger, Antonio Damasio, 
Julian Jaynes, Daniel Dennett.  Knowing the physical function of a 
species sensors and the evolutionary history of it's environment you 
could infer what it is conscious of.

Brent


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-14 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/14 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

 So then question then becomes how close together do the intermediate points 
 have to
 be to constitute the same experience.
 An interesting question.  We might investigate it empirically by noting how 
 closely the
 brain processes during one experience of X are similar to another experience 
 of X - of
 course that brings out that to compare two experiences really means to 
 compare one to
 the memory of the other or the memories of both.

If your point is that ultimately any explanation in processual terms
is functional - in the sense of demarcating a boundary of physical
relevance - and that consequently there will be some level at which
two realisations will FAPP be experientially identical, I would agree,
if only on the basis that no two brains, nor the 'same' brain thinking
the 'same' thought, are ever identical, though their experiences may
be very similar.  The issue would then be to identify the modular
level at which this occurs, and this implies an utterly different
engagement with the relevant physics than the neutrality towards
realisation adopted by 'fundamentalist' CTM.

 I disagree the that reductios prove anything except that the context may have 
 to be
 arbitrarily large.

Are you saying that you take the view that the phenomenal experience
is somehow a product of, or is identical with, the total environment,
as in some defences of the Chinese Room?  If so, what is your view of
the mechanism by which physical-experiential association at this level
would be established?

David


 David Nyman wrote:
 2009/9/14 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

 Yes, of course I know it's *implicitly* physical, that's the problem.
 The point is that evaluating CTM as a physical theory of mind
 necessitates making the relation between experience and process
 *explicitly* physical, and actually attempting this inevitably results
 in a failure to discover any consistent association between specific
 physics and specific experience.
 That seems like a category mistake.  You're asking for and explicitly 
 physical relation
 between a computation and a physical process.  But a computation isn't 
 physical; the
 relation has to relate something non-physical to the physical - so 
 obviously it relates
 the non-physical things like potential action in a context or evolutionary 
 function to the
 physical process.

 This is not merely unfortunate, it
 is a direct consequence of the arbitrariness of physical
 implementation central to the hypothesis.
 I don't see the problem.  There are arbitrarily many computations of the 
 same function too.

 I'm having a really hard time comprehending why we're at such
 cross-purposes here.  I have no difficulty with the formal definition
 of a computation, its multiple realisations, or with your criterion of
 relevance to an external context.  However none of this is remotely
 relevant to what's at issue with respect to the status of CTM as a
 physical theory of *phenomenal experience*, as opposed to observed
 *behaviour*, which AFAICS is all you are referring to above.

 Let me put it like this.  In any physical account of a particular
 phenomenon, some physical events will be relevant, and some
 irrelevant.  I gave the example of differently fuelled journeys - I'm
 sure you can think of a dozen equally good or better examples.  In any
 of these examples you would seek - and should at least in principle be
 able - to explain what is physically directly relevant to the outcome,
 what is irrelevant (in the sense of merely generally supportive of)
 the outcome, and how precisely this demarcation is justified in
 explicit physical terms.  In each case, the line of demarcation would
 be at the point where some common physical outcome can be identified
 as emerging from disparate underlying processes

 Now let's consider CTM on the same terms.  We seek to explain an
 outcome - an experience - that will emerge at some point of
 demarcation of relevant and irrelevant physical processes.  To this
 end let us attempt to test the postulates of CTM against physical
 criteria independent of the hypothesis.  In fact we have no way of
 demarcating any homogeneous physical emergents other than at the
 boundaries of the system,

 But the boundaries are moveable.  If we ask does traveling from A to B by 
 this path
 produce the same experience as by another path the firs thing we do is move 
 the boundaries
 in.  Do both paths go thru C?  thru D? and E? and...  So then question then 
 becomes how
 close together do the intermediate points have to be to constitute the same 
 experience.
 An interesting question.  We might investigate it empirically by noting how 
 closely the
 brain processes during one experience of X are similar to another experience 
 of X - of
 course that brings out that to compare two experiences really means to 
 compare one to the
 memory of the other or the memories of both.


because the hypothesis rules this out, 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-14 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/2 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

 I'm afraid that still doesn't work.  I realise it's counter intuitive,
 but this is the point - to recalibrate the intuitions.  'Standard' CTM
 postulates that the mind is a computation implemented by the brain,
 and hence in principle implementable by any physical process capable
 of instantiating the equivalent computation.  Bruno's 'version' starts
 with this postulate and then shows that the first part of the
 hypothesis - i.e. that the mind is computational - is incompatible
 with the second part - i.e. that it is implemented by some
 specifically distinguishable non-computational process.

 That's the step I don't grasp.  I see that the MGA makes it plausible
 that the mind could be a computation divorced from all physical
 processes - but not that it must be.  Maybe you can explain it.

I was just re-reading some of this thread (sad, isn't it?) and I just
wanted to check the difference of interpretation implied in what you
said above.  As you say, MGA argues that there could be a valid
realisation of a putatively 'experiential computation' that involved
no physical processing.  It then argues that such an absence of
physical processing would in fact mean that associating any experience
with such a 'stopped system' is grossly implausible on materialist
assumptions.  The escape from this impasse it offers, short of
abandoning CTM, is consequently that if mind is still to be considered
a computation, it now *must* be divorced from all physical processing,
and hence from the assumption of PM. The force of the 'must' comes
from the contradiction otherwise unavoidable in invoking physical
processing as simultaneously both necessary and irrelevant to
experience.

Sorry if this was already obvious, I just wanted to check for
clarification.  Does your involvement of the wider environment beyond
the narrowly defined computational realisation change the force of the
MGA argument as described above, and if so how?

David


 David Nyman wrote:
 On 1 Sep, 17:09, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:


 If you don't like this, you have the option of abandoning CTM and with
 it the notion of a virtual ontology.  This is so clear cut that I
 would expect that you would welcome the opportunity either to accept
 it or refute it with precise counter-argument.  Which is it to be?

 You have slipped into Bruno's habit of confusing CTM with comp.

 comp=CTM+Platonism.


 I'm afraid that still doesn't work.  I realise it's counter intuitive,
 but this is the point - to recalibrate the intuitions.  'Standard' CTM
 postulates that the mind is a computation implemented by the brain,
 and hence in principle implementable by any physical process capable
 of instantiating the equivalent computation.  Bruno's 'version' starts
 with this postulate and then shows that the first part of the
 hypothesis - i.e. that the mind is computational - is incompatible
 with the second part - i.e. that it is implemented by some
 specifically distinguishable non-computational process.

 That's the step I don't grasp.  I see that the MGA makes it plausible
 that the mind could be a computation divorced from all physical
 processes - but not that it must be.  Maybe you can explain it.

 Brent

 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-13 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/11 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 I'm not sure I see what distinction you're making.  If as you say the
 realisation of computation in a physical system doesn't cause
 consciousness, that would entail that no physically-realised
 computation could be identical to any mental state.

 That doesn't follow because causation and identity are different
 The realisation could be consciousness (fire IS combustion)
 without causing it (fire CAUSES smoke but it not smoke)

So what did you mean the reader to conclude from your original
argument?  You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?

 This is what
 follows if one accepts the argument from MGA or Olympia that
 consciousness does not attach to physical states qua computatio.

 I find them both quite contestable

If you would risk saying precisely why, you might have a counter-argument.

 I agree.  Nonetheless, when two states are functionally equivalent one
 can still say what it is about them that is physically relevant.  For
 example, in driving from A to B it is functionally irrelevant to my
 experience whether my car is fuelled by petrol or diesel.  But there
 is no ambiguity about the physical details of my car trip or precisely
 how either fuel contributes to this effect.


 One can say what it is about physical systems that explains
 its ability to realise a certain computation. One can't say that
 there is anything that makes it exclusively able to. Equally
 one can explain various ways of getting from A to B, but
 one can't argue that there is only one possible way.

The point at issue is not whether there is only one way to realise a
computation, or to get from A to B.  The point is that in the case of
the journey, the transition from physical irrelevance to relevance is
at the point where the physical result emerges as identical - i.e. as
the same journey form A to B.  In the case of the computation, no such
physical identity of result ever emerges; all you have is a collection
of heterogeneous physical processes, each merely *formally* identical
to a given computation.  It is a further - and physically entirely ad
hoc - assumption that this heterogeneity of physical states is
homogeneous with a single experiential state.

 Yes, I agree.  But if we're after a physical theory, we also want to
 be able to give in either case a clear physical account of their
 apprehensiveness, which would include a physical justification of why
 the fine-grained differences make no difference at the level of
 experience.

 THat would be because they make no computational difference,
 if CTM is correct.

If all you have to offer is circular arguments we shall simply go
round in circles.

 I can only suppose that complete arbitrariness would be a random
 association between physical states and mental states.  This is not
 what is meant by arbitrary realisation.  What is meant is that the
 requirement that a physical system be deemed conscious purely in
 virtue of its implementing a computation rules out no particular kind
 of physical realisation.  Consequently a theory of this type is
 incapable of explicating general principles of physical-mental
 association independent of its functional posit.

 It isn't. Why is that a problem?

The problem is that theories which aren't reducible to fundamental
physics don't warrant consideration as physical theories.  This is
amply demonstrated by the fact that, when reduced to a physical
interpretation, CTM is in fact shown to entail gross implausibilities.

 Yes, but the upshot is that CTM is reduced to the theory that
 conscious states can be associated with material systems only in a
 manner that ex hypothesi must obscure any prospect of a general
 reduction of their detailed material causes, because any such causes
 could only be specific to each realisation.

 You can have as many material details as you like
 so long as they are relevant to explaining the computation.

 Maybe you are hung up on causes. CTM is really an identity theory--
 mental
 states are identified with functional states. It's not fire-causes-
 smoke causation.

I'm fine with mental states being identified with functional states.
The problem is one functional state reduces to multiple physical
states.  Hence CTM entails that one experiential state reduces to
multiple physical states, without being able to give any consistent
physical, as opposed to formal, criterion for such identity.  Prima
facie this renders any claim that consciousness is identical with
physical states physically empty (i.e. without significant commitment)
and under further analysis, renders it grossly implausible.

 Doesn't that make CTM
 somewhat spurious as a materialist theory of consciousness?

 It's materialist because it doesn't require anything 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-13 Thread Brent Meeker

David Nyman wrote:
 2009/9/11 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

   
 I'm not sure I see what distinction you're making.  If as you say the
 realisation of computation in a physical system doesn't cause
 consciousness, that would entail that no physically-realised
 computation could be identical to any mental state.
   
 That doesn't follow because causation and identity are different
 The realisation could be consciousness (fire IS combustion)
 without causing it (fire CAUSES smoke but it not smoke)
 

 So what did you mean the reader to conclude from your original
 argument?  You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
 cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
 the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
 you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?

   
 This is what
 follows if one accepts the argument from MGA or Olympia that
 consciousness does not attach to physical states qua computatio.

   
 I find them both quite contestable
 

 If you would risk saying precisely why, you might have a counter-argument.

   
 I agree.  Nonetheless, when two states are functionally equivalent one
 can still say what it is about them that is physically relevant.  For
 example, in driving from A to B it is functionally irrelevant to my
 experience whether my car is fuelled by petrol or diesel.  But there
 is no ambiguity about the physical details of my car trip or precisely
 how either fuel contributes to this effect.
   
 One can say what it is about physical systems that explains
 its ability to realise a certain computation. One can't say that
 there is anything that makes it exclusively able to. Equally
 one can explain various ways of getting from A to B, but
 one can't argue that there is only one possible way.
 

 The point at issue is not whether there is only one way to realise a
 computation, or to get from A to B.  The point is that in the case of
 the journey, the transition from physical irrelevance to relevance is
 at the point where the physical result emerges as identical - i.e. as
 the same journey form A to B.  In the case of the computation, no such
 physical identity of result ever emerges; all you have is a collection
 of heterogeneous physical processes, each merely *formally* identical
 to a given computation.  It is a further - and physically entirely ad
 hoc - assumption that this heterogeneity of physical states is
 homogeneous with a single experiential state.

   
 Yes, I agree.  But if we're after a physical theory, we also want to
 be able to give in either case a clear physical account of their
 apprehensiveness, which would include a physical justification of why
 the fine-grained differences make no difference at the level of
 experience.
   
 THat would be because they make no computational difference,
 if CTM is correct.
 

 If all you have to offer is circular arguments we shall simply go
 round in circles.

   
 I can only suppose that complete arbitrariness would be a random
 association between physical states and mental states.  This is not
 what is meant by arbitrary realisation.  What is meant is that the
 requirement that a physical system be deemed conscious purely in
 virtue of its implementing a computation rules out no particular kind
 of physical realisation.  Consequently a theory of this type is
 incapable of explicating general principles of physical-mental
 association independent of its functional posit.
   
 It isn't. Why is that a problem?
 

 The problem is that theories which aren't reducible to fundamental
 physics don't warrant consideration as physical theories.  This is
 amply demonstrated by the fact that, when reduced to a physical
 interpretation, CTM is in fact shown to entail gross implausibilities.

   
 Yes, but the upshot is that CTM is reduced to the theory that
 conscious states can be associated with material systems only in a
 manner that ex hypothesi must obscure any prospect of a general
 reduction of their detailed material causes, because any such causes
 could only be specific to each realisation.
   
 You can have as many material details as you like
 so long as they are relevant to explaining the computation.

 Maybe you are hung up on causes. CTM is really an identity theory--
 mental
 states are identified with functional states. It's not fire-causes-
 smoke causation.
 

 I'm fine with mental states being identified with functional states.
 The problem is one functional state reduces to multiple physical
 states.  Hence CTM entails that one experiential state reduces to
 multiple physical states, without being able to give any consistent
 physical, as opposed to formal, criterion for such identity.  

You regard doing the same computation as a purely formal (= 
non-physical) critereon, but I think this is specious.  It seems right 
because we talk about a computation at a very high level of 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-13 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/13 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

 You regard doing the same computation as a purely formal (=
 non-physical) critereon, but I think this is specious.  It seems right
 because we talk about a computation at a very high level of
 abstraction.  But when we ask what makes this causal sequence or that
 process a computation, in contrast to other sequences or processes
 that aren't, we find that we must describe the computation as having an
 effect in the larger physical context.  So to say that two physical
 processes realize the same computation is formal, but it is not *only*
 formal.  It is implicitly physical too.

Yes, of course I know it's *implicitly* physical, that's the problem.
The point is that evaluating CTM as a physical theory of mind
necessitates making the relation between experience and process
*explicitly* physical, and actually attempting this inevitably results
in a failure to discover any consistent association between specific
physics and specific experience.   This is not merely unfortunate, it
is a direct consequence of the arbitrariness of physical
implementation central to the hypothesis.

Your point about having an effect in the larger context is
unproblematic as long as it is considered from a third person
perspective.  From this perspective there's no difficulty about the
physics of the realisation, since what is relevant is simply that it
fulfil the formal criteria in terms of *some* physical implementation,
no putative experiential aspect being at issue.  I agree that this is
the right criterion to discriminate physical computational systems of
interest from those that are inconsequential (i.e. rocks etc.).  The
point at issue with Peter, however, relates to the putatively
homogeneous experiential correlate of the heterogeneous physical
implementations, not their status as purely physical processes.  We
seem to be discussing two different issues.

Consider what motivates CTM in the first place.  The mind-body problem
seems in many ways as impenetrable as ever, despite all advances in
brain science and on the wider theoretical and experimental front.
But wait a moment, we have a nice theory of computation, and we know
how to apply it to computers and their programming.  We even indulge
in metaphor about the thoughts and intentions of our devices (I know I
do).   Maybe that's what the mind is?  Wizard wheeze!  But wait again
- when we actually think about what these beasties are up to
physically in their various realisations - mechanical, hydraulic,
electronic, pneumatic - there's a whole raft of promiscuous,
uncorrelated physical processes going on down there, and none of them
much like our own wetware version.  How can we get a consistent
physics of consciousness out of this?  What to do?  I know - it
doesn't matter!

Great physical theory, eh?

David


 David Nyman wrote:
 2009/9/11 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:


 I'm not sure I see what distinction you're making.  If as you say the
 realisation of computation in a physical system doesn't cause
 consciousness, that would entail that no physically-realised
 computation could be identical to any mental state.

 That doesn't follow because causation and identity are different
 The realisation could be consciousness (fire IS combustion)
 without causing it (fire CAUSES smoke but it not smoke)


 So what did you mean the reader to conclude from your original
 argument?  You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
 cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
 the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
 you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?


 This is what
 follows if one accepts the argument from MGA or Olympia that
 consciousness does not attach to physical states qua computatio.


 I find them both quite contestable


 If you would risk saying precisely why, you might have a counter-argument.


 I agree.  Nonetheless, when two states are functionally equivalent one
 can still say what it is about them that is physically relevant.  For
 example, in driving from A to B it is functionally irrelevant to my
 experience whether my car is fuelled by petrol or diesel.  But there
 is no ambiguity about the physical details of my car trip or precisely
 how either fuel contributes to this effect.

 One can say what it is about physical systems that explains
 its ability to realise a certain computation. One can't say that
 there is anything that makes it exclusively able to. Equally
 one can explain various ways of getting from A to B, but
 one can't argue that there is only one possible way.


 The point at issue is not whether there is only one way to realise a
 computation, or to get from A to B.  The point is that in the case of
 the journey, the transition from physical irrelevance to relevance is
 at the point where the physical result emerges as identical - i.e. as
 the same journey form A to B.  In the case of the 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-13 Thread Brent Meeker

David Nyman wrote:
 2009/9/13 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:
 
 You regard doing the same computation as a purely formal (=
 non-physical) critereon, but I think this is specious.  It seems right
 because we talk about a computation at a very high level of
 abstraction.  But when we ask what makes this causal sequence or that
 process a computation, in contrast to other sequences or processes
 that aren't, we find that we must describe the computation as having an
 effect in the larger physical context.  So to say that two physical
 processes realize the same computation is formal, but it is not *only*
 formal.  It is implicitly physical too.
 
 Yes, of course I know it's *implicitly* physical, that's the problem.
 The point is that evaluating CTM as a physical theory of mind
 necessitates making the relation between experience and process
 *explicitly* physical, and actually attempting this inevitably results
 in a failure to discover any consistent association between specific
 physics and specific experience.   

That seems like a category mistake.  You're asking for and explicitly physical 
relation 
between a computation and a physical process.  But a computation isn't 
physical; the 
relation has to relate something non-physical to the physical - so obviously it 
relates 
the non-physical things like potential action in a context or evolutionary 
function to the 
physical process.

This is not merely unfortunate, it
 is a direct consequence of the arbitrariness of physical
 implementation central to the hypothesis.

I don't see the problem.  There are arbitrarily many computations of the same 
function too.

Brent

 
 Your point about having an effect in the larger context is
 unproblematic as long as it is considered from a third person
 perspective.  From this perspective there's no difficulty about the
 physics of the realisation, since what is relevant is simply that it
 fulfil the formal criteria in terms of *some* physical implementation,
 no putative experiential aspect being at issue.  I agree that this is
 the right criterion to discriminate physical computational systems of
 interest from those that are inconsequential (i.e. rocks etc.).  The
 point at issue with Peter, however, relates to the putatively
 homogeneous experiential correlate of the heterogeneous physical
 implementations, not their status as purely physical processes.  We
 seem to be discussing two different issues.
 
 Consider what motivates CTM in the first place.  The mind-body problem
 seems in many ways as impenetrable as ever, despite all advances in
 brain science and on the wider theoretical and experimental front.
 But wait a moment, we have a nice theory of computation, and we know
 how to apply it to computers and their programming.  We even indulge
 in metaphor about the thoughts and intentions of our devices (I know I
 do).   Maybe that's what the mind is?  Wizard wheeze!  But wait again
 - when we actually think about what these beasties are up to
 physically in their various realisations - mechanical, hydraulic,
 electronic, pneumatic - there's a whole raft of promiscuous,
 uncorrelated physical processes going on down there, and none of them
 much like our own wetware version.  How can we get a consistent
 physics of consciousness out of this?  What to do?  I know - it
 doesn't matter!
 
 Great physical theory, eh?
 
 David
 
 David Nyman wrote:
 2009/9/11 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:


 I'm not sure I see what distinction you're making.  If as you say the
 realisation of computation in a physical system doesn't cause
 consciousness, that would entail that no physically-realised
 computation could be identical to any mental state.

 That doesn't follow because causation and identity are different
 The realisation could be consciousness (fire IS combustion)
 without causing it (fire CAUSES smoke but it not smoke)

 So what did you mean the reader to conclude from your original
 argument?  You concluded that the realisation of a computation doesn't
 cause consciousness.  But did you also mean to imply that nonetheless
 the realisation of a computation IS consciousness?  If so, why didn't
 you say so?  And how would that now influence your evaluation of CTM?


 This is what
 follows if one accepts the argument from MGA or Olympia that
 consciousness does not attach to physical states qua computatio.


 I find them both quite contestable

 If you would risk saying precisely why, you might have a counter-argument.


 I agree.  Nonetheless, when two states are functionally equivalent one
 can still say what it is about them that is physically relevant.  For
 example, in driving from A to B it is functionally irrelevant to my
 experience whether my car is fuelled by petrol or diesel.  But there
 is no ambiguity about the physical details of my car trip or precisely
 how either fuel contributes to this effect.

 One can say what it is about physical systems that explains
 its ability to realise a certain 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-13 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/14 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

 Yes, of course I know it's *implicitly* physical, that's the problem.
 The point is that evaluating CTM as a physical theory of mind
 necessitates making the relation between experience and process
 *explicitly* physical, and actually attempting this inevitably results
 in a failure to discover any consistent association between specific
 physics and specific experience.

 That seems like a category mistake.  You're asking for and explicitly 
 physical relation
 between a computation and a physical process.  But a computation isn't 
 physical; the
 relation has to relate something non-physical to the physical - so obviously 
 it relates
 the non-physical things like potential action in a context or evolutionary 
 function to the
 physical process.

This is not merely unfortunate, it
 is a direct consequence of the arbitrariness of physical
 implementation central to the hypothesis.

 I don't see the problem.  There are arbitrarily many computations of the same 
 function too.

I'm having a really hard time comprehending why we're at such
cross-purposes here.  I have no difficulty with the formal definition
of a computation, its multiple realisations, or with your criterion of
relevance to an external context.  However none of this is remotely
relevant to what's at issue with respect to the status of CTM as a
physical theory of *phenomenal experience*, as opposed to observed
*behaviour*, which AFAICS is all you are referring to above.

Let me put it like this.  In any physical account of a particular
phenomenon, some physical events will be relevant, and some
irrelevant.  I gave the example of differently fuelled journeys - I'm
sure you can think of a dozen equally good or better examples.  In any
of these examples you would seek - and should at least in principle be
able - to explain what is physically directly relevant to the outcome,
what is irrelevant (in the sense of merely generally supportive of)
the outcome, and how precisely this demarcation is justified in
explicit physical terms.  In each case, the line of demarcation would
be at the point where some common physical outcome can be identified
as emerging from disparate underlying processes

Now let's consider CTM on the same terms.  We seek to explain an
outcome - an experience - that will emerge at some point of
demarcation of relevant and irrelevant physical processes.  To this
end let us attempt to test the postulates of CTM against physical
criteria independent of the hypothesis.  In fact we have no way of
demarcating any homogeneous physical emergents other than at the
boundaries of the system, because the hypothesis rules this out, so
already this makes the case quite dissimilar to any other, but let
this pass for the moment.  We will consider only the putative
homogeneous experiential correlate of the heterogeneous physical
computational processes.  What can we employ as the physical criteria
for its emergence?  That the relevant physical processes should be
present.  What can we use to identify such processes and establish
their relevance in terms of any given realisation?  Answer: only the
formal premises of CTM.  Anything else?  Not a thing.

Computational theory in purely behavioural guise meets the criterion
of equivalence not through homogeneity of physical realisation but in
consistency of relation with an environment, as you imply.  By
contrast, any internal physical processes associated with a
computational theory of homogeneous experience can only be identified
and justified in terms of its own formal internal premises.  Hence any
physical justification deployed for this purpose in terms of any
specific realisation must be completely circular.  We are not supposed
to assume our conclusions in our premises, and the inevitable result
of so doing is to fail to make any substantive physical commitments
independent of the formal presuppositions of the hypothesis itself.
It is entirely a consequence of this that reductios such as MGA are
able to do their work, because this physical vacuity is what permits
grossly implausible realisations to be considered valid by the posits
of the theory.  This is QED AFAICS.  How specifically, and at what
point of the argument, would you disagree?

David


 David Nyman wrote:
 2009/9/13 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

 You regard doing the same computation as a purely formal (=
 non-physical) critereon, but I think this is specious.  It seems right
 because we talk about a computation at a very high level of
 abstraction.  But when we ask what makes this causal sequence or that
 process a computation, in contrast to other sequences or processes
 that aren't, we find that we must describe the computation as having an
 effect in the larger physical context.  So to say that two physical
 processes realize the same computation is formal, but it is not *only*
 formal.  It is implicitly physical too.

 Yes, of course I know it's *implicitly* 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-13 Thread Brent Meeker

David Nyman wrote:
 2009/9/14 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:
 
 Yes, of course I know it's *implicitly* physical, that's the problem.
 The point is that evaluating CTM as a physical theory of mind
 necessitates making the relation between experience and process
 *explicitly* physical, and actually attempting this inevitably results
 in a failure to discover any consistent association between specific
 physics and specific experience.
 That seems like a category mistake.  You're asking for and explicitly 
 physical relation
 between a computation and a physical process.  But a computation isn't 
 physical; the
 relation has to relate something non-physical to the physical - so obviously 
 it relates
 the non-physical things like potential action in a context or evolutionary 
 function to the
 physical process.

 This is not merely unfortunate, it
 is a direct consequence of the arbitrariness of physical
 implementation central to the hypothesis.
 I don't see the problem.  There are arbitrarily many computations of the 
 same function too.
 
 I'm having a really hard time comprehending why we're at such
 cross-purposes here.  I have no difficulty with the formal definition
 of a computation, its multiple realisations, or with your criterion of
 relevance to an external context.  However none of this is remotely
 relevant to what's at issue with respect to the status of CTM as a
 physical theory of *phenomenal experience*, as opposed to observed
 *behaviour*, which AFAICS is all you are referring to above.
 
 Let me put it like this.  In any physical account of a particular
 phenomenon, some physical events will be relevant, and some
 irrelevant.  I gave the example of differently fuelled journeys - I'm
 sure you can think of a dozen equally good or better examples.  In any
 of these examples you would seek - and should at least in principle be
 able - to explain what is physically directly relevant to the outcome,
 what is irrelevant (in the sense of merely generally supportive of)
 the outcome, and how precisely this demarcation is justified in
 explicit physical terms.  In each case, the line of demarcation would
 be at the point where some common physical outcome can be identified
 as emerging from disparate underlying processes
 
 Now let's consider CTM on the same terms.  We seek to explain an
 outcome - an experience - that will emerge at some point of
 demarcation of relevant and irrelevant physical processes.  To this
 end let us attempt to test the postulates of CTM against physical
 criteria independent of the hypothesis.  In fact we have no way of
 demarcating any homogeneous physical emergents other than at the
 boundaries of the system, 

But the boundaries are moveable.  If we ask does traveling from A to B by this 
path 
produce the same experience as by another path the firs thing we do is move the 
boundaries 
in.  Do both paths go thru C?  thru D? and E? and...  So then question then 
becomes how 
close together do the intermediate points have to be to constitute the same 
experience. 
An interesting question.  We might investigate it empirically by noting how 
closely the 
brain processes during one experience of X are similar to another experience of 
X - of 
course that brings out that to compare two experiences really means to compare 
one to the 
memory of the other or the memories of both.


because the hypothesis rules this out, so
 already this makes the case quite dissimilar to any other, but let
 this pass for the moment.  We will consider only the putative
 homogeneous experiential correlate of the heterogeneous physical
 computational processes.  What can we employ as the physical criteria
 for its emergence?  That the relevant physical processes should be
 present.  What can we use to identify such processes and establish
 their relevance in terms of any given realisation?  Answer: only the
 formal premises of CTM.  Anything else?  Not a thing.
 
 Computational theory in purely behavioural guise meets the criterion
 of equivalence not through homogeneity of physical realisation but in
 consistency of relation with an environment, as you imply.  By
 contrast, any internal physical processes associated with a
 computational theory of homogeneous experience can only be identified
 and justified in terms of its own formal internal premises.  Hence any
 physical justification deployed for this purpose in terms of any
 specific realisation must be completely circular.  We are not supposed
 to assume our conclusions in our premises, and the inevitable result
 of so doing is to fail to make any substantive physical commitments
 independent of the formal presuppositions of the hypothesis itself.
 It is entirely a consequence of this that reductios such as MGA are
 able to do their work, because this physical vacuity is what permits
 grossly implausible realisations to be considered valid by the posits
 of the theory.  This is QED AFAICS.  How specifically, and at what
 point of 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-11 Thread Flammarion



On 10 Sep, 14:56, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/9 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  What you say above seems pretty much in sympathy with the reductio
  arguments based on arbitrariness of implementation.

  It is strictly an argument against the claim that
  computation causes consciousness , as opposed
  to the claim that mental states are identical to computational
  states.

 I'm not sure I see what distinction you're making.  If as you say the
 realisation of computation in a physical system doesn't cause
 consciousness, that would entail that no physically-realised
 computation could be identical to any mental state.

That doesn't follow because causation and identity are different
The realisation could be consciousness (fire IS combustion)
without causing it (fire CAUSES smoke but it not smoke)

 This is what
 follows if one accepts the argument from MGA or Olympia that
 consciousness does not attach to physical states qua computatio.

I find them both quite contestable

  But CTM is not engaged on such a project; in fact it entails
  the opposite conclusion: i.e. by stipulating its type-token identities
  purely functionally it requires that a homogeneous phenomenal state
  must somehow be associated with a teeming plurality of heterogeneous
  physical states.

  It doesn't suggest that any mental state can be associated with any
  phsycial
  state.

 It doesn't need to say that to be obscure as a physical theory.  The
 point is that it can ex hypothesi say nothing remotely physically
 illuminating about what causes a mental state.  To say that it results
 whenever a physical system implements a specific computation is to say
 nothing physical about that system other than to insist that it is
 'physical'.


..and it implements a certain computation. That's kind of the point.
It is not a criticism of the CTM that it doesn't work like
a reductive physcial theory: it;s not suppposed to be.
It just supposed to be a phsycialist theory that doesn't have ghosts
in the machine

  It has been accused of overdoing  Multiple Realisability, but MR
  can be underdone as well.

 I agree.  Nonetheless, when two states are functionally equivalent one
 can still say what it is about them that is physically relevant.  For
 example, in driving from A to B it is functionally irrelevant to my
 experience whether my car is fuelled by petrol or diesel.  But there
 is no ambiguity about the physical details of my car trip or precisely
 how either fuel contributes to this effect.


One can say what it is about physical systems that explains
its ability to realise a certain computation. One can't say that
there is anything that makes it exclusively able to. Equally
one can explain various ways of getting from A to B, but
one can't argue that there is only one possible way.



  Various arguments - Olympia, MGA, the Chinese Room etc. - seek to
  expose the myriad physical implausibilities consequential on such
  implementation independence.  But the root of all this is that CTM
  makes impossible at the outset any possibility of linking a phenomenal
  state to any unique, fully-explicated physical reduction.

  That's probably a good thing. We want to be able to say that
  two people with fine-grained differences in their brain structure
  can both be (for instance) apprehensiveness.

 Yes, I agree.  But if we're after a physical theory, we also want to
 be able to give in either case a clear physical account of their
 apprehensiveness, which would include a physical justification of why
 the fine-grained differences make no difference at the level of
 experience.

THat would be because they make no computational difference,
if CTM is correct.

  If nothing
  physical can in principle be ruled out as an explanation for
  experience,

  That isn't an implication of CTM. CTM can regard computers as
  a small subset of physical systems, and conscious computers as
  a small subset of computers.

 Yes, but we needn't push nothing physical to the extent of random
 association to make the point at issue.  The relevant point is that,
 in picking out the subset of physical systems solely qua computatio,
 no kind of physical realisation is capable of being ruled out in
 principle.  That is unproblematic in the usual case because our
 interest is restricted to the computational output of such systems,
 and we are unconcerned by the physical details that occasion this.
 But if we are seeking a physical explanation of consciousness, then it
 is precisely the coupling of the physical process and the mental
 process which requires explication in a physical theory, and this is
 now obscured from any general resolution by the computational posit.

Obscured? It goes in two stages. Physical-.computational and
computational-mental.
Beyond that, your objectio to CTM seems to be (again) that it is not
reductive physicalism.

  no uniquely-justified physical explanation need - or in
  practice could - be explicated.

  I 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-11 Thread Flammarion



On 10 Sep, 23:09, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/10 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

  But isn't that because the computational in CTM is abstracted away
  from a context in which there is action and purpose.  It's the same
  problem that leads to the question, Does a rock compute every
  function?  When looking at a physical process as a computation one has
  to ask, Computing what? and the answer is in terms of some interaction
  with the rest of the world in which the computation is embedded, e.g.
  the answer will mean something to the programmer who started it and it
  means something to him because he's a human animal that evolved to have
  goals and values and can take actions.  The level of experience, the
  finess or coarsenss of physical process, is determined by the level at
  which there are actions.

 Yes, I agree with your analysis completely when evaluating any
 externally observed situation.  The trouble is that I think if this
 approach is followed with mentality then the experiential aspect just
 gets lost in the processual account.  For example your saying the
 level of experience, the finess or coarsenss of physical process, is
 determined by the level at which there are actions immediately
 focuses attention at the interface with the environment, where inputs
 and outputs can be equivalent for many internally heterogeneous
 internal processes.  This makes perfect sense in the evaluation of a
 person's, a computer's, or a rock's computational status, if any,
 because this becomes relevant only at the point where something
 emerges from the interior to engage with the environment.

 It's a big leap from that to showing how heterogeneous physical
 processes are internally experientially equivalent *for clearly
 explicable physical reasons*.  The reason for my emphasis of
 *physical* is that my problem with CTM, at least in this discussion,
 is not that it is computational, but that it isn't a physical theory
 in any standard sense, since it can't justify the attachment of
 experience to any particular events for other than *functional*
 reasons.

Why would that be inadequate. Note that functional reasons
can include fine-graied internal functionalism, not just
at-the-edges functionalism.

 Re-reading the foregoing reminds me of my basic problem with any
 purely third person approach to mentality, whether physical or
 functional. Considered from the third person perspective, 'mental'
 processes have no need to be experiential homogeneous because
 everything functionally relevant is assumed to be exhausted in the
 processual account, and hence experience could be nothing but
 epiphenomenal to this.  So what difference could it make?  But that is
 another discussion.

OTOH, the experiential doesn;t have to epiphenomenal,
It could be identical to some aspect of the real physical process,
in which case it has identical causal relevance. However, this
requires the phsycialist to give up on the idea that phsycial
descriptions
are the whole story.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-11 Thread Bruno Marchal
Brent,

I guess you know my reply to this, but I want to make it clear, for  
the benefit of the general discussion. I add a point though.


On 10 Sep 2009, at 21:27, Brent Meeker wrote:

 But isn't that because the computational in CTM is abstracted away
 from a context in which there is action and purpose.  It's the same
 problem that leads to the question, Does a rock compute every
 function?  When looking at a physical process as a computation one  
 has
 to ask, Computing what? and the answer is in terms of some  
 interaction
 with the rest of the world in which the computation is embedded, e.g.
 the answer will mean something to the programmer who started it and it
 means something to him because he's a human animal that evolved to  
 have
 goals and values and can take actions.  The level of experience, the
 finess or coarsenss of physical process, is determined by the level at
 which there are actions.

If consciousness supervenes on your brain + a part of the world, and  
you accept CTM (although a non conventional externalist form of CTM),  
it changes nothing to the reasoning, given that if your (generalized)  
brain (that is your biological brain + that part of the world) is  
Turing emulable, he will be accessed by the UD and the reversal will  
go through. And then the physical world, whatever it is, has to be  
explained from the number relations/computer science only.

This is quite different from your different answer you made in a  
preceding post, where you make consciousness supervening on some non  
turing emulable part of the world. In which case you are no more in  
the comp or CTM frame.

Actually, to be really non-computationalist, to invoke a non  
computable element is not enough, because comp/CTM attached first  
person subjectivity (and thus consciousness) to an infinity of  
computations, and predict some geographical non computability, like  
the first person indeterminacy. So a strictly non comp theory has to  
attach consciousness to something physical, non computable, and  
different from what emerge, form the first person view, from a sum on  
an infinity of computations. This should be testable, and QM without  
collapse is going in the comp direction.

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-10 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/9 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 What you say above seems pretty much in sympathy with the reductio
 arguments based on arbitrariness of implementation.

 It is strictly an argument against the claim that
 computation causes consciousness , as opposed
 to the claim that mental states are identical to computational
 states.

I'm not sure I see what distinction you're making.  If as you say the
realisation of computation in a physical system doesn't cause
consciousness, that would entail that no physically-realised
computation could be identical to any mental state. This is what
follows if one accepts the argument from MGA or Olympia that
consciousness does not attach to physical states qua computatio.

 But CTM is not engaged on such a project; in fact it entails
 the opposite conclusion: i.e. by stipulating its type-token identities
 purely functionally it requires that a homogeneous phenomenal state
 must somehow be associated with a teeming plurality of heterogeneous
 physical states.

 It doesn't suggest that any mental state can be associated with any
 phsycial
 state.

It doesn't need to say that to be obscure as a physical theory.  The
point is that it can ex hypothesi say nothing remotely physically
illuminating about what causes a mental state.  To say that it results
whenever a physical system implements a specific computation is to say
nothing physical about that system other than to insist that it is
'physical'.


 It has been accused of overdoing  Multiple Realisability, but MR
 can be underdone as well.

I agree.  Nonetheless, when two states are functionally equivalent one
can still say what it is about them that is physically relevant.  For
example, in driving from A to B it is functionally irrelevant to my
experience whether my car is fuelled by petrol or diesel.  But there
is no ambiguity about the physical details of my car trip or precisely
how either fuel contributes to this effect.

 Various arguments - Olympia, MGA, the Chinese Room etc. - seek to
 expose the myriad physical implausibilities consequential on such
 implementation independence.  But the root of all this is that CTM
 makes impossible at the outset any possibility of linking a phenomenal
 state to any unique, fully-explicated physical reduction.

 That's probably a good thing. We want to be able to say that
 two people with fine-grained differences in their brain structure
 can both be (for instance) apprehensiveness.

Yes, I agree.  But if we're after a physical theory, we also want to
be able to give in either case a clear physical account of their
apprehensiveness, which would include a physical justification of why
the fine-grained differences make no difference at the level of
experience.

 If nothing
 physical can in principle be ruled out as an explanation for
 experience,

 That isn't an implication of CTM. CTM can regard computers as
 a small subset of physical systems, and conscious computers as
 a small subset of computers.

Yes, but we needn't push nothing physical to the extent of random
association to make the point at issue.  The relevant point is that,
in picking out the subset of physical systems solely qua computatio,
no kind of physical realisation is capable of being ruled out in
principle.  That is unproblematic in the usual case because our
interest is restricted to the computational output of such systems,
and we are unconcerned by the physical details that occasion this.
But if we are seeking a physical explanation of consciousness, then it
is precisely the coupling of the physical process and the mental
process which requires explication in a physical theory, and this is
now obscured from any general resolution by the computational posit.

 no uniquely-justified physical explanation need - or in
 practice could - be explicated.

 I don't think unique justification is a requirement

The detailed implausibilities
 variously invoked all fall out of this.


 So if a physical theory of mind is what is needed, CTM would seem to
 fail even as a candidate because its arbitrariness with respect to
 physical realisation renders it incapable of grounding consciousness
 in any specific fundamental physical reduction.

 MR is not complete arbitrariness.

I can only suppose that complete arbitrariness would be a random
association between physical states and mental states.  This is not
what is meant by arbitrary realisation.  What is meant is that the
requirement that a physical system be deemed conscious purely in
virtue of its implementing a computation rules out no particular kind
of physical realisation.  Consequently a theory of this type is
incapable of explicating general principles of physical-mental
association independent of its functional posit.

 If CTM had the implication that one material
 system could realise more than one computation, then there
 would be a conflict with the phsyical supervenience principle.

I agree.


 But CTM only has the implication that one computation
 system 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-10 Thread Brent Meeker

David Nyman wrote:
 2009/9/9 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

   
 What you say above seems pretty much in sympathy with the reductio
 arguments based on arbitrariness of implementation.
   
 It is strictly an argument against the claim that
 computation causes consciousness , as opposed
 to the claim that mental states are identical to computational
 states.
 

 I'm not sure I see what distinction you're making.  If as you say the
 realisation of computation in a physical system doesn't cause
 consciousness, that would entail that no physically-realised
 computation could be identical to any mental state. This is what
 follows if one accepts the argument from MGA or Olympia that
 consciousness does not attach to physical states qua computatio.

   
 But CTM is not engaged on such a project; in fact it entails
 the opposite conclusion: i.e. by stipulating its type-token identities
 purely functionally it requires that a homogeneous phenomenal state
 must somehow be associated with a teeming plurality of heterogeneous
 physical states.
   
 It doesn't suggest that any mental state can be associated with any
 phsycial
 state.
 

 It doesn't need to say that to be obscure as a physical theory.  The
 point is that it can ex hypothesi say nothing remotely physically
 illuminating about what causes a mental state.  To say that it results
 whenever a physical system implements a specific computation is to say
 nothing physical about that system other than to insist that it is
 'physical'.

   
 It has been accused of overdoing  Multiple Realisability, but MR
 can be underdone as well.
 

 I agree.  Nonetheless, when two states are functionally equivalent one
 can still say what it is about them that is physically relevant.  For
 example, in driving from A to B it is functionally irrelevant to my
 experience whether my car is fuelled by petrol or diesel.  But there
 is no ambiguity about the physical details of my car trip or precisely
 how either fuel contributes to this effect.

   
 Various arguments - Olympia, MGA, the Chinese Room etc. - seek to
 expose the myriad physical implausibilities consequential on such
 implementation independence.  But the root of all this is that CTM
 makes impossible at the outset any possibility of linking a phenomenal
 state to any unique, fully-explicated physical reduction.
   
 That's probably a good thing. We want to be able to say that
 two people with fine-grained differences in their brain structure
 can both be (for instance) apprehensiveness.
 

 Yes, I agree.  But if we're after a physical theory, we also want to
 be able to give in either case a clear physical account of their
 apprehensiveness, which would include a physical justification of why
 the fine-grained differences make no difference at the level of
 experience.
   

Consider what a clear physical account of apprehensiveness might be:  
There's an increased level of brain activity which is similar to that 
caused by a strange sound when along in the dark, a slight rise in 
adrenaline, a tensing of muscles that would be used to flee, brain 
patterns formed as memories while watching slasher movies become more 
excited.  Fine-grained differences below these levels, as might differ 
in others, are irrelevant to the experience.  For comparison consider a 
Mars rover experiencing apprehension: Sensor signals indicate lack of 
traction which implies likely inability to reach it's next sampling 
point.  Extra battery power is put on line and various changes in paths 
and backtracking are calculated.  Mission control is apprised.   The 
soil appearance related to poor traction is entered into a database with 
a warning note.

Notice how the meaning, the content of 'apprehension' comes from the 
context of action and purpose and interaction with an external world.  
We summarize these things as a single word 'apprehension' which we then 
take to describe a strictly internal state. But that is because we have 
abstracted away the circumstances that give the meaning.  There are 
difference cirmcustances that would give the same hightened states.

Brent

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-10 Thread Brent Meeker

David Nyman wrote:
 2009/9/10 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

   
 Yes, I agree.  But if we're after a physical theory, we also want to
 be able to give in either case a clear physical account of their
 apprehensiveness, which would include a physical justification of why
 the fine-grained differences make no difference at the level of
 experience.
   
 Consider what a clear physical account of apprehensiveness might be:
 There's an increased level of brain activity which is similar to that
 caused by a strange sound when along in the dark, a slight rise in
 adrenaline, a tensing of muscles that would be used to flee, brain
 patterns formed as memories while watching slasher movies become more
 excited.  Fine-grained differences below these levels, as might differ
 in others, are irrelevant to the experience.  For comparison consider a
 Mars rover experiencing apprehension: Sensor signals indicate lack of
 traction which implies likely inability to reach it's next sampling
 point.  Extra battery power is put on line and various changes in paths
 and backtracking are calculated.  Mission control is apprised.   The
 soil appearance related to poor traction is entered into a database with
 a warning note.
 Notice how the meaning, the content of 'apprehension' comes from the
 context of action and purpose and interaction with an external world.
 We summarize these things as a single word 'apprehension' which we then
 take to describe a strictly internal state. But that is because we have
 abstracted away the circumstances that give the meaning.  There are
 difference cirmcustances that would give the same hightened states.
 

 Whilst I am of course in sympathy with the larger import of you're
 saying, Brent, I'm not sure how it's relevant to the intentionally
 more restricted focus of the current discussion.  It is by definition
 true that fine-grained differences below these levels, as might
 differ in others, are irrelevant to the experience.  My point still
 is that a complete physical theory of consciousness would be capable
 of explicating - both in general physical principles and in detail -
 the relation between coarse and fine-grained physical accounts of an
 experiential state, whatever the wider context in which it might be
 embedded.  Or IOW, of explaining what physical principles and
 processes are responsible for the fineness of fine graining and the
 coarseness of coarse graining.  CTM doesn't appear to offer any
 physically explicit route to this goal.

 David
But isn't that because the computational in CTM is abstracted away 
from a context in which there is action and purpose.  It's the same 
problem that leads to the question, Does a rock compute every 
function?  When looking at a physical process as a computation one has 
to ask, Computing what? and the answer is in terms of some interaction 
with the rest of the world in which the computation is embedded, e.g. 
the answer will mean something to the programmer who started it and it 
means something to him because he's a human animal that evolved to have 
goals and values and can take actions.  The level of experience, the 
finess or coarsenss of physical process, is determined by the level at 
which there are actions.

Brent

Bretn

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-10 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/10 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

 But isn't that because the computational in CTM is abstracted away
 from a context in which there is action and purpose.  It's the same
 problem that leads to the question, Does a rock compute every
 function?  When looking at a physical process as a computation one has
 to ask, Computing what? and the answer is in terms of some interaction
 with the rest of the world in which the computation is embedded, e.g.
 the answer will mean something to the programmer who started it and it
 means something to him because he's a human animal that evolved to have
 goals and values and can take actions.  The level of experience, the
 finess or coarsenss of physical process, is determined by the level at
 which there are actions.

Yes, I agree with your analysis completely when evaluating any
externally observed situation.  The trouble is that I think if this
approach is followed with mentality then the experiential aspect just
gets lost in the processual account.  For example your saying the
level of experience, the finess or coarsenss of physical process, is
determined by the level at which there are actions immediately
focuses attention at the interface with the environment, where inputs
and outputs can be equivalent for many internally heterogeneous
internal processes.  This makes perfect sense in the evaluation of a
person's, a computer's, or a rock's computational status, if any,
because this becomes relevant only at the point where something
emerges from the interior to engage with the environment.

It's a big leap from that to showing how heterogeneous physical
processes are internally experientially equivalent *for clearly
explicable physical reasons*.  The reason for my emphasis of
*physical* is that my problem with CTM, at least in this discussion,
is not that it is computational, but that it isn't a physical theory
in any standard sense, since it can't justify the attachment of
experience to any particular events for other than *functional*
reasons.

Re-reading the foregoing reminds me of my basic problem with any
purely third person approach to mentality, whether physical or
functional. Considered from the third person perspective, 'mental'
processes have no need to be experiential homogeneous because
everything functionally relevant is assumed to be exhausted in the
processual account, and hence experience could be nothing but
epiphenomenal to this.  So what difference could it make?  But that is
another discussion.

David


 David Nyman wrote:
 2009/9/10 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:


 Yes, I agree.  But if we're after a physical theory, we also want to
 be able to give in either case a clear physical account of their
 apprehensiveness, which would include a physical justification of why
 the fine-grained differences make no difference at the level of
 experience.

 Consider what a clear physical account of apprehensiveness might be:
 There's an increased level of brain activity which is similar to that
 caused by a strange sound when along in the dark, a slight rise in
 adrenaline, a tensing of muscles that would be used to flee, brain
 patterns formed as memories while watching slasher movies become more
 excited.  Fine-grained differences below these levels, as might differ
 in others, are irrelevant to the experience.  For comparison consider a
 Mars rover experiencing apprehension: Sensor signals indicate lack of
 traction which implies likely inability to reach it's next sampling
 point.  Extra battery power is put on line and various changes in paths
 and backtracking are calculated.  Mission control is apprised.   The
 soil appearance related to poor traction is entered into a database with
 a warning note.
 Notice how the meaning, the content of 'apprehension' comes from the
 context of action and purpose and interaction with an external world.
 We summarize these things as a single word 'apprehension' which we then
 take to describe a strictly internal state. But that is because we have
 abstracted away the circumstances that give the meaning.  There are
 difference cirmcustances that would give the same hightened states.


 Whilst I am of course in sympathy with the larger import of you're
 saying, Brent, I'm not sure how it's relevant to the intentionally
 more restricted focus of the current discussion.  It is by definition
 true that fine-grained differences below these levels, as might
 differ in others, are irrelevant to the experience.  My point still
 is that a complete physical theory of consciousness would be capable
 of explicating - both in general physical principles and in detail -
 the relation between coarse and fine-grained physical accounts of an
 experiential state, whatever the wider context in which it might be
 embedded.  Or IOW, of explaining what physical principles and
 processes are responsible for the fineness of fine graining and the
 coarseness of coarse graining.  CTM doesn't appear to offer any
 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-09 Thread Flammarion



On 9 Sep, 01:39, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:

1. Computationalism in general associates that consciousness with a
  specific comptuer programme, programme C let's say.
2. Let us combine that with the further claim that programme C
  causes cosnciousness, somehow leveraging the physical causality of the
  hardware it is running on.
3. A corrolary of that is that running programme C will always
  cause the same effect.
4. Running a programme on hardware is a physical process with
  physical effects.
5. It is in the nature of causality that the same kind of cause
  produces the same kind of effects-- that is, causaliy attaches to
  types not tokens.
6. Running a programme on hardware will cause physical effects, and
  these will be determined by the kind of physical hardware. (Valve
  computers will generate heat, cogwheel computers will generate noise,
  etc).
7. Therefore, running programme C on different kinds of hardware
  will not produce a uniform effect as required by 1.
8. Programmes do not have a physical typology: they are not natural
  kinds. In that sense they are abstract. (Arguably, that is not as
  abstract as the square root of two, since they still have physical
  tokens. There may be more than one kind or level of abstraction).
9. Conclusion: even running programmes are not apt to cause
  consciousness. They are still too abstract.

 What you say above seems pretty much in sympathy with the reductio
 arguments based on arbitrariness of implementation.

It is strictly an argument against the claim that
computation causes consciousness , as opposed
to the claim that mental states are identical to computational
states.


 As you say above consciousness might depend on specific properties of
 hardware, of matter.  If so, this would demand an explicitly physical
 theory of mind, and such a 'Searlian' project would consequently seek
 to associate a specific phenomenal state with specific physical
 events.  But CTM is not engaged on such a project; in fact it entails
 the opposite conclusion: i.e. by stipulating its type-token identities
 purely functionally it requires that a homogeneous phenomenal state
 must somehow be associated with a teeming plurality of heterogeneous
 physical states.

It doesn't suggest that any mental state can be associated with any
phsycial
state.

It has been accused of overdoing  Multiple Realisability, but MR
can be underdone as well.

 Various arguments - Olympia, MGA, the Chinese Room etc. - seek to
 expose the myriad physical implausibilities consequential on such
 implementation independence.  But the root of all this is that CTM
 makes impossible at the outset any possibility of linking a phenomenal
 state to any unique, fully-explicated physical reduction.

That's probably a good thing. We want to be able to say that
two people with fine-grained differences in their brain structure
can both be (for instance) apprehensiveness.

 If nothing
 physical can in principle be ruled out as an explanation for
 experience,

That isn't an implication of CTM. CTM can regard computers as
a small subset of physical systems, and conscious computers as
a small subset of computers.

 no uniquely-justified physical explanation need - or in
 practice could - be explicated.

I don't think unique justification is a requirement

The detailed implausibilities
 variously invoked all fall out of this.


 So if a physical theory of mind is what is needed, CTM would seem to
 fail even as a candidate because its arbitrariness with respect to
 physical realisation renders it incapable of grounding consciousness
 in any specific fundamental physical reduction.

MR is not complete arbitrariness.

 Indeed defences of
 functionalism against its various critics never cite any physical
 grounds for the plausibility of conscious supervenience on the
 physical composition of, say, the Chinese room, but focus instead on
 defending the functional relevance of various features of the
 experimental setup.  Hence, without an explicitly physical, as opposed
 to functional, criterion for what counts as a 'physical' explanation,
 it is hard to see how CTM is compatible with any intelligible notion
 of materialism.

It is compatible with materialism because brains and computers
are material. If CTM had the implication that one material
system could realise more than one computation, then there
would be a conflict with the phsyical supervenience principle.

But CTM only has the implication that one computation
system could be realised more on more than one
material system.


Indeed, its success could only be in direct
 opposition to the principles of materialist reductive theory.

I don't think that follows at all.

 Isn't
 that a reasonable conclusion?

 David


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-03 Thread Flammarion



On 3 Sep, 09:41, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/3 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:





  On 3 Sep, 01:26, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
  2009/9/2 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

   and is thus not any particular physical
   object.  A specific physical implementation is a token of that
   computational type, and is indeed a physical object, albeit one whose
   physical details can be of any variety so long as they continue to
   instantiate the relevant computational invariance.  Hence it is hard
   to see how a specific (invariant) example of an experiential state
   could be justified as being token-identical with all the different
   physical implementations of a computation.

   I was right.

   A mental type can be associated with a computational
   type.

   Any token of a mental type can be associated with a token
   of the corresponding computational type.

  But what difference is that supposed to make?  The type association is
  implicit in what I was saying.  All you've said above is that it makes
  no difference whether one talks in terms of the mental type or the
  associated computational type because their equivalence is a posit of
  CTM.  And whether it is plausible that the physical tokens so picked
  out possess the causal efficacy presupposed by CTM is precisely what I
  was questioning.

  question it then. what's the problem?

   But even on this basis it still doesn't seem possible to establish any
   consistent identity between the physical variety of the tokens thus
   distinguished and a putatively unique experiential state.

   The variety of the physical implementations is reduced by grouping
   them
   as  equivalent computational types. Computation is abstract.
   Abstraction is
   ignoring irrelevant details. Ignoring irrelevant details establishes a
   many-to-one relationship : many possible implementations of one mental
   state.

  Again, that's not an argument - you're just reciting the *assumptions*
  of CTM, not arguing for their plausibility.

  you're not arguing against its plausibility

  The justification of the
  supposed irrelevance of particular physical details is that they are
  required to be ignored for the supposed efficacy of the type-token
  relation to be plausible.  That doesn't make it so.

  why not? we already know they can be ignored to establish
  computational
  equivalence.

On the
   contrary, any unbiased a priori prediction would be of experiential
   variance on the basis of physical variance.

   Yes. The substance of the CTM claim is that physical
   differences do not make  a mental difference unless they
   make a computational difference. That is to say, switching from
   one token of a type of computation to another cannot make
   a difference in mentation. That is not to be expected on an
   unbiased basis, just because it is a substantive claim.

  Yes it's precisely the claim whose plausibility I've been questioning.

  You haven't said anything specific about what is wrong with it at all.

   The variety of the physical implementations is reduced by grouping
   them
   as  equivalent computational types. Computation is abstract.
   Abstraction is
   ignoring irrelevant details. Ignoring irrelevant details establishes a
   many-to-one relationship : many possible implementations of one mental
   state.

  Yes thanks, this is indeed the hypothesis.  But simply recapitulating
  the assumptions isn't exactly an uncommitted assessment of their
  plausibility is it?

  Saying it is not necessarily correct is not a critique

 That can only immunise it from criticism.  There
  is no whiff in CTM of why it should be considered plausible on
  physical grounds alone.

  Hence counter arguments can legitimately
  question the consistency of its claims as a physical theory in the
  absence of its type-token presuppositions.

   If you mean you can criticise the CTM as offering nothing specific
  to resolve the HP, you are correct. But I *thought* we were
  discussing the MG/Olympia style of argument, which purportedly
  still applies even if you restrict yourself to cognition and forget
  about experience/qualia.
  Are we?

  Look, let me turn this round.  You've said before that you're not a
  diehard partisan of CTM.  What in your view would be persuasive
  grounds for doubting it?

  I'll explain below. But the claim I am interested in is that CTM
  somehow disproves materalism (Maudlin, BTW takes it the other way
  around--
  materialism disproves CTM). I have heard not a word in support of
  *that* claim.

  ust an Artificial Intellence be a Computer ?

  An AI is not necessarily a computer. Not everything is a computer or
  computer-emulable. It just needs to be artificial and intelligent!

 Then it's no more *CTM*. (C means Computational)

I know. I am not defending CTM against all-comers. I am trying to find
out why some people
think it is incompatible with mateialsim.


Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-02 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 23:48, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 1 Sep, 17:46, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:

  time capsules are just what I am talking about. Why would you need
  anythign more for the specious present than a snapshop some of
  which is out of date?

 Well, as well as the question of what constitutes the qualitative
 character of such snapshots, one might also wonder about the curious
 fact that such 'frozen' capsules nonetheless appear to us as
 possessing internal temporal duration and differentiation.  

Easily explained if perceptual data are timestamped.

This seems
 to appeal simultaneously to aspects of both flux and block models of
 time whilst being entirely consistent with neither.



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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-02 Thread Bruno Marchal


On 02 Sep 2009, at 03:17, Brent Meeker wrote:


 But only by isolating a bit of computation from the rest of universe.
 And it doesn't show that a computation supervenes on zero physical
 activity.  And even if it did show that, it would not follow that  
 mental
 computation *does* supervene on computation realized in Platonia  with
 zero physical activity.

Maudlin's Olympia shows that a computation can be realized with zero  
*computational* physical activity, and this means that if we keep  
associating the consciousness to the computation, the physical  
activity has no role there.
MGA shows that if we associate consciousness to the physical activity  
implementing a computation, then we have to associate that  
consciousness in real time to a description of that computation,  
which can be seen as absurd in different ways.
We can come back on this, but I think it is better I explain what  
mathematician means by computations.

MGA and MGA-like argument can be seen as an extension of what is done  
in UDA1-6. It shows that a universal machine cannot see the difference  
between real, virtual and then arithmetical. But like the notion  
of virtual emulation has to be grasped for the step 6, the notion of  
arithmetical computation has to be grasped before, and that is why I  
am explaining the mathematician definition of universal machine and  
its computations.





 This is an absurd conclusion, so the hypothesis that motivates it -
 i.e. CTM+PM - is thus shown to be contradictory and must be  
 abandoned,
 not merely in this case, but in general: i.e. the exception has  
 broken
 the rule.  This is forced unless you can show where the logic goes
 wrong.

 No, even if the conclusion is wrong that only shows that *some* step  
 in
 the argument is wrong NOT that the conjunction of the computationalist
 theory of mind and primary matter is self contradictory.

You can say this for any proof by reduction ad absurdo. But if someone  
pretend having done a reduction of absurdo of A+B, that is, pretend to  
have provide a proof, or argument, that A+B - false, then if you  
disagree that this leads to ~(A+B), you have to *find* at which step  
the error is. That's the very idea of proving. Of course in a  
difficult applied subject, you can always find some loophole of the  
kind invisible horses driving cars, and it is a matter of pedagogy  
to explains things spirit, instead of big set of formalities capable  
of satisfying everyone in the first strike.
In the present case, you can always develop a sufficiently ridiculous  
notion of matter and physical computation to block the proof, but it  
should be clear that a strong change of the meaning of the hypothesis  
is done.


  I don't even
 see where the argument uses PM to reach its conclusion.

Note that PM is used in all UDA1-7, and at that stage, you can still  
argue that the supposedly existing physical universe is too little to  
run a big part of the UD, (but we have already the result that comp  
entails indeterminacy and non-locality). The step 8 just shows that  
the move toward a little physical universe does not really work, in  
the sense that the physical supervenience thesis, in the comp frame,  
entails that we can show the physical activity non relevant with  
respect to the computation. You have to believe that consciousness in  
real time is related to static description of such computation, which  
is perhaps not contradictory, but is non sensical. You can no more say  
yes to the doctor 'qua computatio'.



 Maybe CTM+UD is
 a simpler explanation of the world, a return to Platonic idealism,  
 but I
 don't see that its contrary is contrdictory.

It is contradictory with the idea that consciousness is related to  
both the computation and the physical activity, in the PM sense of  
physical activity. A movie of a brain become conscious qua computation  
and without computation. It is not a mathematical contradiction, but a  
conceptual difficulty preventing saying yes to the doctor by  
appealing to the notion of computation. Like invisible horses pulling  
cars could throw doubt to the thermodynamical explanation of car  
motor. As I have always said, MGA does not eliminate completely some  
use of Occam; it minimizes it, but, like always in applied math, you  
can imagine a sufficiently bizarre notion of physical computation to  
stuck the logic of the applied proof, a bit like your own move of  
associating your consciousness to a non computable physical object  
outside your brain. But with the generalized brain, this is taking  
into account. If your consciousness, to exist, needs that uncomputable  
object, you are no more in the comp frame.
It is like the collapse of the wave packet. It shows that the many- 
worlds does not follow logically from the SWE, and the collapse is so  
badly defined, that you can hardy evacuate it (like the God-of-the-gap  
in physics), yet, I do think that the many-words follows directly from  

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-02 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/2 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 Well, as well as the question of what constitutes the qualitative
 character of such snapshots, one might also wonder about the curious
 fact that such 'frozen' capsules nonetheless appear to us as
 possessing internal temporal duration and differentiation.

 Easily explained if perceptual data are timestamped.

Yes, that would appear to be the specification, more or less.  What's
the implementation?

David




 On 1 Sep, 23:48, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 1 Sep, 17:46, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:

  time capsules are just what I am talking about. Why would you need
  anythign more for the specious present than a snapshop some of
  which is out of date?

 Well, as well as the question of what constitutes the qualitative
 character of such snapshots, one might also wonder about the curious
 fact that such 'frozen' capsules nonetheless appear to us as
 possessing internal temporal duration and differentiation.

 Easily explained if perceptual data are timestamped.

This seems
 to appeal simultaneously to aspects of both flux and block models of
 time whilst being entirely consistent with neither.



 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-02 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/2 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

 But the physical implementation (cause?) is invariant in it's functional
 relations.  That's why two physical implementations which are different
 at some lower level can be said to implement the same computation at a
 higher level.  I see nothing incoherent is saying that two physically
 different computers perform the same computation.  So if mental states
 are certain kinds of computations (either physically realized or in
 Platonia) they can be realized on different, i.e. non-invariant physical
 processes.  What's incoherent about that?

I wonder what you mean by either physically realized or in Platonia?
  ISTM that there is not one assumption here, but two.  If computation
is restricted to the sense of physical realisation, then there is
indeed nothing problematic in saying that two physically different
computers perform the same computation.  We can understand what is
meant without ambiguity; 'different' is indeed different, and any
identity is thus non-physical (i.e. relational).  But 'realisation' of
such relational identity in Platonia in the form of an invariant
experiential state is surely something else entirely: i.e. if it is a
supplementary hypothesis to PM it is dualism.  The point of Bruno's
argument is to force a choice between the attachment of experience to
physical process or computation; but not both at the same time.

 And that's where my idea that the context/environment is essential.  It
 defines the level at which functions must be the same; in other words
 when we say yes to the doctor we are assuming that he will replace our
 brain so that it has the same input/ouput at the level of our afferent
 and efferent nerves and hormones (roughly speaking).  Then we would
 continue to exist in and experience this world.  This is why we would
 hesitate to say yes to the doctor if he proposed to also simulate the
 rest of world with which we interact, e.g. in a rock, because it would
 mean our consciousness would be in a different world - not this one,
 which due to it's much greater complexity would not be emulable.

Yes, this could make sense.  But what you're saying is that if we knew
the correct substitution level, be it at the level of our afferent
and efferent nerves and hormones, or some different or finer
analysis, we would in effect have reproduced whatever is 'physically'
relevant to consciousness.  Whether this is indeed possible at any
functional level above the atomic may in the end be resolvable
empirically, it can't simply be assumed a priori on the basis of
computational theory.  In point of fact you haven't actually appealed
to software here, but rather to highly specific details of physical
implementation, and this is a hardware issue, as we computer
programmers are wont to say.  But I guess the 'yes doctor' is really
about where the distinction between hardware and software merges
experientially.  And then the import of MGA is that if the gap closes
at any level above atom-for-atom substitution, any attachment of
experience to 'PM' below that level becomes spurious for CMT.

David


 David Nyman wrote:
 2009/9/2 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com


 I'm afraid that still doesn't work.  I realise it's counter intuitive,
 but this is the point - to recalibrate the intuitions.  'Standard' CTM
 postulates that the mind is a computation implemented by the brain,
 and hence in principle implementable by any physical process capable
 of instantiating the equivalent computation.  Bruno's 'version' starts
 with this postulate and then shows that the first part of the
 hypothesis - i.e. that the mind is computational - is incompatible
 with the second part - i.e. that it is implemented by some
 specifically distinguishable non-computational process.

 That's the step I don't grasp.  I see that the MGA makes it plausible
 that the mind could be a computation divorced from all physical
 processes - but not that it must be.  Maybe you can explain it.


 Well, I'll recapitulate what insight I possess.

 As I see it, both MGA and Olympia are intended to show how
 postulating, on the basis of PM, that invariant mental states
 supervene qua computatio, as Bruno would say, on non-invariant
 physical causes is flatly incoherent - i.e. it leads to absurd
 consequences.
 But the physical implementation (cause?) is invariant in it's functional
 relations.  That's why two physical implementations which are different
 at some lower level can be said to implement the same computation at a
 higher level.  I see nothing incoherent is saying that two physically
 different computers perform the same computation.  So if mental states
 are certain kinds of computations (either physically realized or in
 Platonia) they can be realized on different, i.e. non-invariant physical
 processes.  What's incoherent about that?

 And that's where my idea that the context/environment is essential.  It
 defines the level at which functions must be the same; in 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-02 Thread Flammarion



On 2 Sep, 16:58, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/2 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  Well, as well as the question of what constitutes the qualitative
  character of such snapshots, one might also wonder about the curious
  fact that such 'frozen' capsules nonetheless appear to us as
  possessing internal temporal duration and differentiation.

  Easily explained if perceptual data are timestamped.

 Yes, that would appear to be the specification, more or less.  What's
 the implementation?


Is that a philosophical question?



  On 1 Sep, 23:48, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
  On 1 Sep, 17:46, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:

   time capsules are just what I am talking about. Why would you need
   anythign more for the specious present than a snapshop some of
   which is out of date?

  Well, as well as the question of what constitutes the qualitative
  character of such snapshots, one might also wonder about the curious
  fact that such 'frozen' capsules nonetheless appear to us as
  possessing internal temporal duration and differentiation.

  Easily explained if perceptual data are timestamped.

 This seems
  to appeal simultaneously to aspects of both flux and block models of
  time whilst being entirely consistent with neither.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-02 Thread Flammarion



On 2 Sep, 16:56, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/2 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

  But the physical implementation (cause?) is invariant in it's functional
  relations.  That's why two physical implementations which are different
  at some lower level can be said to implement the same computation at a
  higher level.  I see nothing incoherent is saying that two physically
  different computers perform the same computation.  So if mental states
  are certain kinds of computations (either physically realized or in
  Platonia) they can be realized on different, i.e. non-invariant physical
  processes.  What's incoherent about that?

 I wonder what you mean by either physically realized or in Platonia?
   ISTM that there is not one assumption here, but two.  If computation
 is restricted to the sense of physical realisation, then there is
 indeed nothing problematic in saying that two physically different
 computers perform the same computation.  We can understand what is
 meant without ambiguity; 'different' is indeed different, and any
 identity is thus non-physical (i.e. relational).  But 'realisation' of
 such relational identity in Platonia in the form of an invariant
 experiential state is surely something else entirely: i.e. if it is a
 supplementary hypothesis to PM it is dualism.

Why would a believer in CTM need to make that additional step?
(You seem to be talkign about the abstract computaitonal state
having exitence independent from its concrete physcial
isntantiations).

 The point of Bruno's
 argument is to force a choice between the attachment of experience to
 physical process or computation; but not both at the same time.

I see no problem with mental states attaching to phsycial processes
via the computaitons instantiated by them. AFAICS that is still CTM.
Since every instance of  a computation *is* an instance of a phsycial
process as well, there is no either/or.

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-02 Thread Flammarion



On 2 Sep, 17:56, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/2 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  I wonder what you mean by either physically realized or in Platonia?
ISTM that there is not one assumption here, but two.  If computation
  is restricted to the sense of physical realisation, then there is
  indeed nothing problematic in saying that two physically different
  computers perform the same computation.  We can understand what is
  meant without ambiguity; 'different' is indeed different, and any
  identity is thus non-physical (i.e. relational).  But 'realisation' of
  such relational identity in Platonia in the form of an invariant
  experiential state is surely something else entirely: i.e. if it is a
  supplementary hypothesis to PM it is dualism.

  Why would a believer in CTM need to make that additional step?
  (You seem to be talkign about the abstract computaitonal state
  having exitence independent from its concrete physcial
  isntantiations).

 No, I was querying whether Brent was implying this by his reference to
 mental states realised in Platonia but nonetheless deemed to supervene
 on physical process.  But without such dual supervention, where does
 that leave CTM+PM?  Either we're appealing to
 experience=computation=invariant, or we're appealing to
 experience=physical process=variant.

Well, I've asked before, but what does (in) variant mean here?

 If we seek refuge in both, then
 in what sense can we maintain an identity?  Does invariant=variant?
 But if what is meant by this is that physical process is only relevant
 to experience *inasmuch as it functionally instantiates a computation*
 - i.e. only the non-physical aspects make any difference - then
 precisely what remains of experience that is physical?  The term Bruno
 sometimes uses for any such sense of 'physical' is 'spurious', and I
 think that about sums it up.

 David

i suspect you are mixing types and tokens. But I await an answer to
the question
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-02 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/2 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 I wonder what you mean by either physically realized or in Platonia?
   ISTM that there is not one assumption here, but two.  If computation
 is restricted to the sense of physical realisation, then there is
 indeed nothing problematic in saying that two physically different
 computers perform the same computation.  We can understand what is
 meant without ambiguity; 'different' is indeed different, and any
 identity is thus non-physical (i.e. relational).  But 'realisation' of
 such relational identity in Platonia in the form of an invariant
 experiential state is surely something else entirely: i.e. if it is a
 supplementary hypothesis to PM it is dualism.

 Why would a believer in CTM need to make that additional step?
 (You seem to be talkign about the abstract computaitonal state
 having exitence independent from its concrete physcial
 isntantiations).

No, I was querying whether Brent was implying this by his reference to
mental states realised in Platonia but nonetheless deemed to supervene
on physical process.  But without such dual supervention, where does
that leave CTM+PM?  Either we're appealing to
experience=computation=invariant, or we're appealing to
experience=physical process=variant.  If we seek refuge in both, then
in what sense can we maintain an identity?  Does invariant=variant?
But if what is meant by this is that physical process is only relevant
to experience *inasmuch as it functionally instantiates a computation*
- i.e. only the non-physical aspects make any difference - then
precisely what remains of experience that is physical?  The term Bruno
sometimes uses for any such sense of 'physical' is 'spurious', and I
think that about sums it up.

David




 On 2 Sep, 16:56, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/2 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

  But the physical implementation (cause?) is invariant in it's functional
  relations.  That's why two physical implementations which are different
  at some lower level can be said to implement the same computation at a
  higher level.  I see nothing incoherent is saying that two physically
  different computers perform the same computation.  So if mental states
  are certain kinds of computations (either physically realized or in
  Platonia) they can be realized on different, i.e. non-invariant physical
  processes.  What's incoherent about that?

 I wonder what you mean by either physically realized or in Platonia?
   ISTM that there is not one assumption here, but two.  If computation
 is restricted to the sense of physical realisation, then there is
 indeed nothing problematic in saying that two physically different
 computers perform the same computation.  We can understand what is
 meant without ambiguity; 'different' is indeed different, and any
 identity is thus non-physical (i.e. relational).  But 'realisation' of
 such relational identity in Platonia in the form of an invariant
 experiential state is surely something else entirely: i.e. if it is a
 supplementary hypothesis to PM it is dualism.

 Why would a believer in CTM need to make that additional step?
 (You seem to be talkign about the abstract computaitonal state
 having exitence independent from its concrete physcial
 isntantiations).

 The point of Bruno's
 argument is to force a choice between the attachment of experience to
 physical process or computation; but not both at the same time.

 I see no problem with mental states attaching to phsycial processes
 via the computaitons instantiated by them. AFAICS that is still CTM.
 Since every instance of  a computation *is* an instance of a phsycial
 process as well, there is no either/or.

 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-02 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/2 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 i suspect you are mixing types and tokens. But I await an answer to
 the question

Well, a computation is a type, and is thus not any particular physical
object.  A specific physical implementation is a token of that
computational type, and is indeed a physical object, albeit one whose
physical details can be of any variety so long as they continue to
instantiate the relevant computational invariance.  Hence it is hard
to see how a specific (invariant) example of an experiential state
could be justified as being token-identical with all the different
physical implementations of a computation.  It might appear that a
defence against the foregoing is to say that only the appropriate
functionally-distinguished subsets of the entire implementing
substrate need be deemed tokens of the relevant computational type,
and that actual occasions of experience can be considered to be
token-identical with these subsets.

But even on this basis it still doesn't seem possible to establish any
consistent identity between the physical variety of the tokens thus
distinguished and a putatively unique experiential state.  On the
contrary, any unbiased a priori prediction would be of experiential
variance on the basis of physical variance.  Hence continuing to
insist on physically-based token-identity seems entirely ad hoc.

The unique challenge facing us, on the assumption of primitive
materiality, is the personally manifest existence of an experiential
state associated with a physical system.  The first person gives us a
unique insight in this instance which is unavailable for other
type-token analyses.  Ordinarily, picking out functional invariance in
physical systems is unproblematic, because the invariance is one of
type, not of token.  The token may vary but the type-token association
is unharmed.  But, uniquely, this doesn't hold for a theory of mind
based on primitive materiality, because now we have a unique
token-identity - mind-body - and thus it is inconsistent to expect
to substitute an entirely different type of body and expect no
substantive change on the other side of the identical doublet. The
resort of desperation is of course to disregard this unique
distinction, or worse to relegate experience to mere typehood; but in
that case we eliminate it from concrete existence.

David

 No, I was querying whether Brent was implying this by his reference to
 mental states realised in Platonia but nonetheless deemed to supervene
 on physical process.  But without such dual supervention, where does
 that leave CTM+PM?  Either we're appealing to
 experience=computation=invariant, or we're appealing to
 experience=physical process=variant.

 Well, I've asked before, but what does (in) variant mean here?



David




 On 2 Sep, 17:56, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/2 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  I wonder what you mean by either physically realized or in Platonia?
    ISTM that there is not one assumption here, but two.  If computation
  is restricted to the sense of physical realisation, then there is
  indeed nothing problematic in saying that two physically different
  computers perform the same computation.  We can understand what is
  meant without ambiguity; 'different' is indeed different, and any
  identity is thus non-physical (i.e. relational).  But 'realisation' of
  such relational identity in Platonia in the form of an invariant
  experiential state is surely something else entirely: i.e. if it is a
  supplementary hypothesis to PM it is dualism.

  Why would a believer in CTM need to make that additional step?
  (You seem to be talkign about the abstract computaitonal state
  having exitence independent from its concrete physcial
  isntantiations).

 No, I was querying whether Brent was implying this by his reference to
 mental states realised in Platonia but nonetheless deemed to supervene
 on physical process.  But without such dual supervention, where does
 that leave CTM+PM?  Either we're appealing to
 experience=computation=invariant, or we're appealing to
 experience=physical process=variant.

 Well, I've asked before, but what does (in) variant mean here?

 If we seek refuge in both, then
 in what sense can we maintain an identity?  Does invariant=variant?
 But if what is meant by this is that physical process is only relevant
 to experience *inasmuch as it functionally instantiates a computation*
 - i.e. only the non-physical aspects make any difference - then
 precisely what remains of experience that is physical?  The term Bruno
 sometimes uses for any such sense of 'physical' is 'spurious', and I
 think that about sums it up.

 David

 i suspect you are mixing types and tokens. But I await an answer to
 the question
 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-02 Thread Flammarion



On 2 Sep, 21:20, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/2 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  i suspect you are mixing types and tokens. But I await an answer to
  the question

 Well, a computation is a type,

A type of computation is  a type.

A token of a type of computation is a token.

 and is thus not any particular physical
 object.  A specific physical implementation is a token of that
 computational type, and is indeed a physical object, albeit one whose
 physical details can be of any variety so long as they continue to
 instantiate the relevant computational invariance.  Hence it is hard
 to see how a specific (invariant) example of an experiential state
 could be justified as being token-identical with all the different
 physical implementations of a computation.

I was right.

A mental type can be associated with a computational
type.

Any token of a mental type can be associated with a token
of the corresponding computational type.

The difficulty comes from mixing types and tokens.

  It might appear that a
 defence against the foregoing is to say that only the appropriate
 functionally-distinguished subsets of the entire implementing
 substrate need be deemed tokens of the relevant computational type,
 and that actual occasions of experience can be considered to be
 token-identical with these subsets.

 But even on this basis it still doesn't seem possible to establish any
 consistent identity between the physical variety of the tokens thus
 distinguished and a putatively unique experiential state.

The variety of the physical implementations is reduced by grouping
them
as  equivalent computational types. Computation is abstract.
Abstraction is
ignoring irrelevant details. Ignoring irrelevant details establishes a
many-to-one relationship : many possible implementations of one mental
state.

  On the
 contrary, any unbiased a priori prediction would be of experiential
 variance on the basis of physical variance.

Yes. The substance of the CTM claim is that physical
differences do not make  a mental difference unless they
make a computational difference. That is to say, switching from
one token of a type of computation to another cannot make
a difference in mentation. That is not to be expected on an
unbiased basis, just because it is a substantive claim.

Hence continuing to
 insist on physically-based token-identity seems entirely ad hoc.


Identity of what with what?

 The unique challenge facing us, on the assumption of primitive
 materiality, is the personally manifest existence of an experiential
 state associated with a physical system.  The first person gives us a
 unique insight in this instance which is unavailable for other
 type-token analyses.  Ordinarily, picking out functional invariance in
 physical systems is unproblematic, because the invariance is one of
 type, not of token.  

Uhhhexactly how does the first person insight
break the invariance-of-type-with-variance-of-token thing?

The token may vary but the type-token association
 is unharmed.  

So long as it is a token of the same type, yes.

But, uniquely, this doesn't hold for a theory of mind
 based on primitive materiality, because now we have a unique
 token-identity - mind-body - and thus it is inconsistent to expect
 to substitute an entirely different type of body and expect no
 substantive change on the other side of the identical doublet.

Why? I see nothing there except blunt dogmatic insistence.

In general, randomly selecting another body will lead to another mind.
But
that is not different from saying that randomly selecting differently
configured hardware will lead to a different computation. The point of
CTM is that making a non-random substitution -- that is, picking
another
token of the same type of computation -- will also automatically
amount to picking another
token of the same type of mentation. I have no idea why you think
introducing
a first person would make a difference.

 The
 resort of desperation is of course to disregard this unique
 distinction, or worse to relegate experience to mere typehood; but in
 that case we eliminate it from concrete existence.

 David

  No, I was querying whether Brent was implying this by his reference to
  mental states realised in Platonia but nonetheless deemed to supervene
  on physical process.  But without such dual supervention, where does
  that leave CTM+PM?  Either we're appealing to
  experience=computation=invariant, or we're appealing to
  experience=physical process=variant.

  Well, I've asked before, but what does (in) variant mean here?

And i still haven't found out.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-02 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/2 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 and is thus not any particular physical
 object.  A specific physical implementation is a token of that
 computational type, and is indeed a physical object, albeit one whose
 physical details can be of any variety so long as they continue to
 instantiate the relevant computational invariance.  Hence it is hard
 to see how a specific (invariant) example of an experiential state
 could be justified as being token-identical with all the different
 physical implementations of a computation.

 I was right.

 A mental type can be associated with a computational
 type.

 Any token of a mental type can be associated with a token
 of the corresponding computational type.

But what difference is that supposed to make?  The type association is
implicit in what I was saying.  All you've said above is that it makes
no difference whether one talks in terms of the mental type or the
associated computational type because their equivalence is a posit of
CTM.  And whether it is plausible that the physical tokens so picked
out possess the causal efficacy presupposed by CTM is precisely what I
was questioning.

 But even on this basis it still doesn't seem possible to establish any
 consistent identity between the physical variety of the tokens thus
 distinguished and a putatively unique experiential state.

 The variety of the physical implementations is reduced by grouping
 them
 as  equivalent computational types. Computation is abstract.
 Abstraction is
 ignoring irrelevant details. Ignoring irrelevant details establishes a
 many-to-one relationship : many possible implementations of one mental
 state.

Again, that's not an argument - you're just reciting the *assumptions*
of CTM, not arguing for their plausibility.  The justification of the
supposed irrelevance of particular physical details is that they are
required to be ignored for the supposed efficacy of the type-token
relation to be plausible.  That doesn't make it so.

  On the
 contrary, any unbiased a priori prediction would be of experiential
 variance on the basis of physical variance.

 Yes. The substance of the CTM claim is that physical
 differences do not make  a mental difference unless they
 make a computational difference. That is to say, switching from
 one token of a type of computation to another cannot make
 a difference in mentation. That is not to be expected on an
 unbiased basis, just because it is a substantive claim.

Yes it's precisely the claim whose plausibility I've been questioning.

 The variety of the physical implementations is reduced by grouping
 them
 as  equivalent computational types. Computation is abstract.
 Abstraction is
 ignoring irrelevant details. Ignoring irrelevant details establishes a
 many-to-one relationship : many possible implementations of one mental
 state.

Yes thanks, this is indeed the hypothesis.  But simply recapitulating
the assumptions isn't exactly an uncommitted assessment of their
plausibility is it?  That can only immunise it from criticism.  There
is no whiff in CTM of why it should be considered plausible on
physical grounds alone.  Hence counter arguments can legitimately
question the consistency of its claims as a physical theory in the
absence of its type-token presuppositions.

Look, let me turn this round.  You've said before that you're not a
diehard partisan of CTM.  What in your view would be persuasive
grounds for doubting it?

David




 On 2 Sep, 21:20, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/2 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  i suspect you are mixing types and tokens. But I await an answer to
  the question

 Well, a computation is a type,

 A type of computation is  a type.

 A token of a type of computation is a token.

 and is thus not any particular physical
 object.  A specific physical implementation is a token of that
 computational type, and is indeed a physical object, albeit one whose
 physical details can be of any variety so long as they continue to
 instantiate the relevant computational invariance.  Hence it is hard
 to see how a specific (invariant) example of an experiential state
 could be justified as being token-identical with all the different
 physical implementations of a computation.

 I was right.

 A mental type can be associated with a computational
 type.

 Any token of a mental type can be associated with a token
 of the corresponding computational type.

 The difficulty comes from mixing types and tokens.

  It might appear that a
 defence against the foregoing is to say that only the appropriate
 functionally-distinguished subsets of the entire implementing
 substrate need be deemed tokens of the relevant computational type,
 and that actual occasions of experience can be considered to be
 token-identical with these subsets.

 But even on this basis it still doesn't seem possible to establish any
 consistent identity between the physical variety of the tokens thus
 distinguished and a putatively 

Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 01:25, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/8/31 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 Peter, surely you must see that in saying abstracta are arrived at by
 ignoring irrelevant features of individual objects you are simply
 agreeing with Quentin that if everything is reduced to physical
 interaction then computations aren't real.  

The instances are real, the kind is not.

His argument clearly
 shows that by not real he means that under PM there is no final
 appeal to some 'abstract causal structure' beyond the physical.

Who needs it? It certainly isn't needed for anything in Computer
Science

 But
 since I've never detected anything of this sort in your own views,
 what precisely are you disputing?  No coherent causal account in terms
 of PM is at liberty to ignore irrelevant features in perpetuity.

Who says it does?

 The deal with PM is that, though such abstracted schemata are indeed
 borrowed promiscuously, such loans are made on the strict
 understanding of their being ultimately repayable in fully reduced
 physical coin.

Every instance is 100% physical. Abstraction is a process
performed by minds which are then cashed out as brains.

 Otherwise ignoring their material constitution is
 tantamount to ignoring their existence.

It is not ingnored when dealing with the instance/token,
only when dealing with the class/type

 Consequently, CTM in the context of PM is simply not a *physical*
 explanation - in fact, it treats PM as *irrelevant* to the attribution
 of consciousness.

That doesn't remotely follow from anything you have said.

 What it would take to make it a physical
 explanation would be a method of showing exactly how each specific
 instantiation of a putatively invariant computational consciousness is
 separately reducible to a justified physical causal account of
 consciousness.

Huh? The whole point of CTM is that physical details are unnecessary
to explain consciousness beyond their ability to implement the right
software.
Hence it doesn't matter what a person had fro breakfast or what colour
an AI's casing is.

 But this is infeasible for two reasons.  Firstly CMT
 under PM is a brute apriori assumption that makes no direct reference
 to physical causality, and hence eludes any justification in terms of
 it.  

That's a non-sequitur. Just about any claim has an implicit
background structure. CTM can rest on a standard account of how
computers work physically. That is just engineering and not
really the same are if concern. not explicitly mentioning
does not mean inexplicable in terms of

Secondly, it is precisely this non-physical postulate of CMT that
 masks what is a direct contradiction in terms.

What non-physical postulate?

Under strictly
 physical analysis, the equivalence it postulates - i.e. that
 arbitrarily many heterogeneous PM dispositions (a) instantiate the
 same homogeneous physical state (b)

It doesn't postulate physcial equivalence, it postulates computatioal
equivalence.

- simply evaporates, since in
 making any plausible appeal to direct physical explanation (a) and (b)
 could only coherently be characterisations of identical physical
 systems.

 David


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 01:21, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 31 Aug, 15:14, Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be wrote:

  I would not put AR on the same par as PM(*).

  I know that Peter have problem with this, but AR does not commit you
  ontologically. It is just the idea that arithmetical propositions are
  either true or false.

 Yes, I think I finally understand your view on this.  It relies on the
 denial of CTM+PM as a theory of mind,

I thought it was supposed to be a disproof

Anyone can deny something

 but does not thereby rule out
 the conceivability of a level of zero-virtuality supervening on PM.
 Rather it shows that, for any putative computational realisation of
 mind, any such attribution is both absolutely unknowable and causally
 irrelevant.

I have argued that it is unknowable in the sense that
sceptical hypotheses sucha s the BIV are undisprovable,
We generally disregard them anyway,
since, for one thing, we would have no idea which to accept.


 This clearly unmasks any such notion of PM as a
 superfluous assumption with respect to CTM, and Occam consequently
 dictates that we discard it as any part of the theory.

Au contraire, occam requires us to throw away the assumptions
that we are 1 level deep, 2 levels deep... in  a virtualisation.

Real reality is the simplest assumption

 IOW it is the
 prior assumption of CTM itself that drives the chain of inference, as
 you have always claimed.  And I further agree that *on the basis of
 CTM* it then follows that no meaning of 'exist' should be taken
 literally.  It is very much to your credit that you have laid bare
 these hidden implications of CTM, as I think they are central to most
 of the myriad confusions that surround it.  If people have a complaint
 about the implications, they cannot now dodge the fact that this
 disquiet is unavoidably entailed by CTM itself.

 David

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 00:46, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/8/31 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  It's more an attempt to characterise our
  metaphysical *situation*: i.e. the intuition that it is enduring,
  immediate, self-referential and self-relative.   Actually, reflecting
  on exchanges with Bruno, I wonder if one might well say that this
  position is globally solipsistic.

  That reads like a contradiction in terms to me

 Etc, etc

 Peter, I must say that I sometimes find your style of commenting
 unhelpful.  Any attempt to set out one's ideas - however inadequate
 the result may be - must rely on some sequencing of thought in which
 an earlier statement may depend on a later.  Consequently when you
 interpolate the flow of the narrative with constant expostulations of
 this sort I have to wonder how much time you permit to elapse before
 concluding that what I say must be incoherent, deluded, or simply
 wrong.  

Does that mean you gave an explanation of global solipsism
somewhere?


Any of the foregoing might indeed be true, but since I don't
 force you to make comments on what I write, we might both gain more
 from the exercise if you made it more readily apparent that you reach
 your conclusions a little less precipitately.


I think you should be more concerned about the long passages
I am not commenting on. That is becuase I find them completely
incomprehensible.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 00:09, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/8/31 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  That says nothing about qualia at all.

 It would be helpful if we could deal with one issue at a time.  Most
 of the passage you commented on was intended - essentially at your
 provocation - as a contextual exploration of possible conditions for
 recallable consciousness experience, not an explication of qualia per
 se.

But the context of the thread was you asking me about Chalmer's theory
of intrinsic qualia. I answered that relevantly. You appear to have
drifted off.

 But you haven't commented on this.

OK. Memory is relevant to consciousness. It is relevant
specifically to access consciousness. it is also easily explained
physically and not therefore part of the HP and not
therefore of much philosophical interest.

  By the way, if you have a
 simple extrinsic account of the phenomena of the specious present, I'd
 be genuinely interested in more detail.  

I think I gave one. Slow communications in the brain=short term
information storage=specious present

You could hardly *not* have one.

As to qualia, I've said
 before that I believe qualitative instantiation to be beyond extrinsic
 explanation (though not beyond indirect reference) for the simple
 reason that all explanation takes place in terms of it

That couldn't be more wrong. Mathematical/structural/functional
thinking
is qualia-free, and the HP is the problem of recovering qualia from a
description
in those terms

 (if you're
 wondering what this means I trust a little introspection will
 suffice).

Done that, came to opposite conclusion.

  Do you think Chalmers suggestion that qualia are intrinsic properties
  of fundamental particles is feasible or not?

 I doubt, despite standard usages suited to technical ends, that talk
 of properties is helpful in this regard.

Are you ever going to say what this problem with properties is?

 There are fundamental
 problems with any attempt to attach first-person consciousness to
 matter,

PM or material structures and processes?

for the obvious reason that matter cannot be reduced to
 individually identifiable entities.


PM or material structures and processes?

 Consequently, the
 self-referential I is attachable only contextually to some overall
 schema in which fundamental differentiation - physical or otherwise
 (e.g. 'computational') can then play a processual role.

Can't matter have processes?

 I've remarked
 before that 'knowledge' must be regarded in the final analysis as
 ontic - i.e. we *instantiate* what we know - the subject-object
 distinction in mentality is merely a metaphor inferred from the
 polarisation of roles.  When I've said this in other contexts you've
 usually reacted with bewilderment, so if this still seems opaque
 perhaps you could specify what is unclear.  Anyway, on this basis we
 might think of qualitative instantiation as consisting in peculiarly
 differentiated ways-of-being, as distinct from the unbroken symmetry
 of the undifferentiated context.  As an aid to intuition, you could
 think of this distinction in broadly similar terms to those you have
 proposed for 'property-less' materiality as an enduring existential
 substrate for extrinsic physical properties.

Err yeah. How about you explain this property issue.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 I think you should be more concerned about the long passages
 I am not commenting on. That is becuase I find them completely
 incomprehensible.

In that case you may wish to reconsider whether there is any point in
your commenting at all.  I don't see how it helps anyone's
understanding - mine, yours or any other reader's - if you seize on
fragments isolated from a background of incomprehension.

David




 On 1 Sep, 00:46, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/8/31 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  It's more an attempt to characterise our
  metaphysical *situation*: i.e. the intuition that it is enduring,
  immediate, self-referential and self-relative.   Actually, reflecting
  on exchanges with Bruno, I wonder if one might well say that this
  position is globally solipsistic.

  That reads like a contradiction in terms to me

 Etc, etc

 Peter, I must say that I sometimes find your style of commenting
 unhelpful.  Any attempt to set out one's ideas - however inadequate
 the result may be - must rely on some sequencing of thought in which
 an earlier statement may depend on a later.  Consequently when you
 interpolate the flow of the narrative with constant expostulations of
 this sort I have to wonder how much time you permit to elapse before
 concluding that what I say must be incoherent, deluded, or simply
 wrong.

 Does that mean you gave an explanation of global solipsism
 somewhere?


Any of the foregoing might indeed be true, but since I don't
 force you to make comments on what I write, we might both gain more
 from the exercise if you made it more readily apparent that you reach
 your conclusions a little less precipitately.


 I think you should be more concerned about the long passages
 I am not commenting on. That is becuase I find them completely
 incomprehensible.
 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 10:58, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  I think you should be more concerned about the long passages
  I am not commenting on. That is becuase I find them completely
  incomprehensible.

 In that case you may wish to reconsider whether there is any point in
 your commenting at all.  I don't see how it helps anyone's
 understanding - mine, yours or any other reader's - if you seize on
 fragments isolated from a background of incomprehension.

Well, not commenting at all is indeed the only other option -- or the
only
other one I can initiate.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 This clearly unmasks any such notion of PM as a
 superfluous assumption with respect to CTM, and Occam consequently
 dictates that we discard it as any part of the theory.

 Au contraire, occam requires us to throw away the assumptions
 that we are 1 level deep, 2 levels deep... in  a virtualisation.

 Real reality is the simplest assumption

Peter, you need to keep firmly in mind that the superfluity of PM
follows on the *assumption* of CTM.  The razor is then applied on the
basis of that assumption.  If you prefer a theory of mind based on
real reality, fair enough, but then you must face the conclusion
that CTM is no longer tenable in that role.

David




 On 1 Sep, 01:21, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 31 Aug, 15:14, Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be wrote:

  I would not put AR on the same par as PM(*).

  I know that Peter have problem with this, but AR does not commit you
  ontologically. It is just the idea that arithmetical propositions are
  either true or false.

 Yes, I think I finally understand your view on this.  It relies on the
 denial of CTM+PM as a theory of mind,

 I thought it was supposed to be a disproof

 Anyone can deny something

 but does not thereby rule out
 the conceivability of a level of zero-virtuality supervening on PM.
 Rather it shows that, for any putative computational realisation of
 mind, any such attribution is both absolutely unknowable and causally
 irrelevant.

 I have argued that it is unknowable in the sense that
 sceptical hypotheses sucha s the BIV are undisprovable,
 We generally disregard them anyway,
 since, for one thing, we would have no idea which to accept.


 This clearly unmasks any such notion of PM as a
 superfluous assumption with respect to CTM, and Occam consequently
 dictates that we discard it as any part of the theory.

 Au contraire, occam requires us to throw away the assumptions
 that we are 1 level deep, 2 levels deep... in  a virtualisation.

 Real reality is the simplest assumption

 IOW it is the
 prior assumption of CTM itself that drives the chain of inference, as
 you have always claimed.  And I further agree that *on the basis of
 CTM* it then follows that no meaning of 'exist' should be taken
 literally.  It is very much to your credit that you have laid bare
 these hidden implications of CTM, as I think they are central to most
 of the myriad confusions that surround it.  If people have a complaint
 about the implications, they cannot now dodge the fact that this
 disquiet is unavoidably entailed by CTM itself.

 David

 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Quentin Anciaux

Exactly,
if mind is a computational process, there is no way for it to know it
is being simulated on the level 0 of the real (if there is one).

There would be *no difference* for it if it was simulated on virtual
machine running on a virtual machine running on a virtual machine
running on this level 0.

Peter claims that level 0 is needed... but why ? If mind is
computation, level 0 plays no role in consciousness. If CTM is true, I
could run Peter with an abacus and that Peter would still forcelly
argues that HE IS ON LEVEL 0... which is totally untrue in that case.

Regards,
Quentin

2009/9/1 David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com:

 2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 This clearly unmasks any such notion of PM as a
 superfluous assumption with respect to CTM, and Occam consequently
 dictates that we discard it as any part of the theory.

 Au contraire, occam requires us to throw away the assumptions
 that we are 1 level deep, 2 levels deep... in  a virtualisation.

 Real reality is the simplest assumption

 Peter, you need to keep firmly in mind that the superfluity of PM
 follows on the *assumption* of CTM.  The razor is then applied on the
 basis of that assumption.  If you prefer a theory of mind based on
 real reality, fair enough, but then you must face the conclusion
 that CTM is no longer tenable in that role.

 David




 On 1 Sep, 01:21, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 31 Aug, 15:14, Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be wrote:

  I would not put AR on the same par as PM(*).

  I know that Peter have problem with this, but AR does not commit you
  ontologically. It is just the idea that arithmetical propositions are
  either true or false.

 Yes, I think I finally understand your view on this.  It relies on the
 denial of CTM+PM as a theory of mind,

 I thought it was supposed to be a disproof

 Anyone can deny something

 but does not thereby rule out
 the conceivability of a level of zero-virtuality supervening on PM.
 Rather it shows that, for any putative computational realisation of
 mind, any such attribution is both absolutely unknowable and causally
 irrelevant.

 I have argued that it is unknowable in the sense that
 sceptical hypotheses sucha s the BIV are undisprovable,
 We generally disregard them anyway,
 since, for one thing, we would have no idea which to accept.


 This clearly unmasks any such notion of PM as a
 superfluous assumption with respect to CTM, and Occam consequently
 dictates that we discard it as any part of the theory.

 Au contraire, occam requires us to throw away the assumptions
 that we are 1 level deep, 2 levels deep... in  a virtualisation.

 Real reality is the simplest assumption

 IOW it is the
 prior assumption of CTM itself that drives the chain of inference, as
 you have always claimed.  And I further agree that *on the basis of
 CTM* it then follows that no meaning of 'exist' should be taken
 literally.  It is very much to your credit that you have laid bare
 these hidden implications of CTM, as I think they are central to most
 of the myriad confusions that surround it.  If people have a complaint
 about the implications, they cannot now dodge the fact that this
 disquiet is unavoidably entailed by CTM itself.

 David

 


 




-- 
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

Peter, I've considered whether anything is to be gained from my
responding further, and much as I regret coming to this conclusion, I
don't think we can make any further progress together on this topic.
If such were possible, I suspect it would require a great deal more
patience and willingness to consider world-views more comprehensively,
probably on both our parts, rather than reciprocal logic-chopping that
strikes me as fundamentally at cross-purposes.

David




 On 1 Sep, 00:09, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/8/31 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  That says nothing about qualia at all.

 It would be helpful if we could deal with one issue at a time.  Most
 of the passage you commented on was intended - essentially at your
 provocation - as a contextual exploration of possible conditions for
 recallable consciousness experience, not an explication of qualia per
 se.

 But the context of the thread was you asking me about Chalmer's theory
 of intrinsic qualia. I answered that relevantly. You appear to have
 drifted off.

 But you haven't commented on this.

 OK. Memory is relevant to consciousness. It is relevant
 specifically to access consciousness. it is also easily explained
 physically and not therefore part of the HP and not
 therefore of much philosophical interest.

  By the way, if you have a
 simple extrinsic account of the phenomena of the specious present, I'd
 be genuinely interested in more detail.

 I think I gave one. Slow communications in the brain=short term
 information storage=specious present

 You could hardly *not* have one.

As to qualia, I've said
 before that I believe qualitative instantiation to be beyond extrinsic
 explanation (though not beyond indirect reference) for the simple
 reason that all explanation takes place in terms of it

 That couldn't be more wrong. Mathematical/structural/functional
 thinking
 is qualia-free, and the HP is the problem of recovering qualia from a
 description
 in those terms

 (if you're
 wondering what this means I trust a little introspection will
 suffice).

 Done that, came to opposite conclusion.

  Do you think Chalmers suggestion that qualia are intrinsic properties
  of fundamental particles is feasible or not?

 I doubt, despite standard usages suited to technical ends, that talk
 of properties is helpful in this regard.

 Are you ever going to say what this problem with properties is?

 There are fundamental
 problems with any attempt to attach first-person consciousness to
 matter,

 PM or material structures and processes?

for the obvious reason that matter cannot be reduced to
 individually identifiable entities.


 PM or material structures and processes?

 Consequently, the
 self-referential I is attachable only contextually to some overall
 schema in which fundamental differentiation - physical or otherwise
 (e.g. 'computational') can then play a processual role.

 Can't matter have processes?

 I've remarked
 before that 'knowledge' must be regarded in the final analysis as
 ontic - i.e. we *instantiate* what we know - the subject-object
 distinction in mentality is merely a metaphor inferred from the
 polarisation of roles.  When I've said this in other contexts you've
 usually reacted with bewilderment, so if this still seems opaque
 perhaps you could specify what is unclear.  Anyway, on this basis we
 might think of qualitative instantiation as consisting in peculiarly
 differentiated ways-of-being, as distinct from the unbroken symmetry
 of the undifferentiated context.  As an aid to intuition, you could
 think of this distinction in broadly similar terms to those you have
 proposed for 'property-less' materiality as an enduring existential
 substrate for extrinsic physical properties.

 Err yeah. How about you explain this property issue.
 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 11:09, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  This clearly unmasks any such notion of PM as a
  superfluous assumption with respect to CTM, and Occam consequently
  dictates that we discard it as any part of the theory.

  Au contraire, occam requires us to throw away the assumptions
  that we are 1 level deep, 2 levels deep... in  a virtualisation.

  Real reality is the simplest assumption

 Peter, you need to keep firmly in mind that the superfluity of PM
 follows on the *assumption* of CTM.  The razor is then applied on the
 basis of that assumption.  If you prefer a theory of mind based on
 real reality, fair enough, but then you must face the conclusion
 that CTM is no longer tenable in that role.

No, none of that follows from CTM alone. Bruno is putting
forward the Sceptical Hypothesis that I am being simulated
on a UD. However, if I am entiteld to assign a very low
likelihood to that SH along with all the many others, alowing me
to know in a good-enough way that matter is real, reality is
real etc. It is very important in these arguments to distinguish
between certain knowledge and good-enough knowledge.

BTW--why doens't O's R cut away Platonia in favour of
a smaller material universe?

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Bruno Marchal


On 01 Sep 2009, at 10:49, Flammarion wrote:


 Can't matter have processes?


But in that line of discussion, the question should be: can primary  
matter have processes. You said yourself that primary matter is  
propertyless. How something without property can implement processes,  
with or without qualia?

I begin to think that your primary matter is even incompatible with  
physicalism.

Comp justifies the belief of a more primary matter than the one  
allowed, at first sight, by current physics, given that matter, with  
comp is an a priori complete indeterminate mess of infinities of  
computations. It is not something describable by its parts, like  
naturalist Aristotelian substances. But it is the bearer of  
potentialities, and this defines the subjectively stable first  
person. Your notion of matter could be closer to the comp-matter, than  
physicists' notion, except it is not primary or fundamental. But it  
certainly *looks* primary from the observer's point of view.


Bruno
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 11:16, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
 Exactly,
 if mind is a computational process, there is no way for it to know it
 is being simulated on the level 0 of the real (if there is one).

 There would be *no difference* for it if it was simulated on virtual
 machine running on a virtual machine running on a virtual machine
 running on this level 0.

 Peter claims that level 0 is needed... but why ?

I claim that that is a *possiblity* and as such is enough
to show that CTM does not necessarily follow from the computability of
physics.

If mind is
 computation, level 0 plays no role in consciousness. If CTM is true, I
 could run Peter with an abacus and that Peter would still forcelly
 argues that HE IS ON LEVEL 0... which is totally untrue in that case.

And if I were a wizard I could trapsort you to Narnia and make you
believe you were still in France.

The CTM does indeed have hypotetical implciations about
virtualisation, but nothing follows from that. There is no
implication from I might be virtualised to I am virtualised any
more than from I might be  BIV..
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 11:56, Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be wrote:
 On 01 Sep 2009, at 10:49, Flammarion wrote:

  Can't matter have processes?

 But in that line of discussion, the question should be: can primary
 matter have processes. You said yourself that primary matter is
 propertyless. How something without property can implement processes,
 with or without qualia?

PM has no essential properties, but is the bearer of all
otther properties. It can implement a computation in just
the same way it can be red.  (Althoguh the combinatin PM+red
is of course not PM. It is only PM as a bare substrate).

 I begin to think that your primary matter is even incompatible with
 physicalism.




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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 11:19, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 Peter, I've considered whether anything is to be gained from my
 responding further, and much as I regret coming to this conclusion, I
 don't think we can make any further progress together on this topic.
 If such were possible, I suspect it would require a great deal more
 patience and willingness to consider world-views more comprehensively,
 probably on both our parts, rather than reciprocal logic-chopping that
 strikes me as fundamentally at cross-purposes.

Yeah. Or you could just answer my questions.

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 Peter, you need to keep firmly in mind that the superfluity of PM
 follows on the *assumption* of CTM.  The razor is then applied on the
 basis of that assumption.  If you prefer a theory of mind based on
 real reality, fair enough, but then you must face the conclusion
 that CTM is no longer tenable in that role.

 No, none of that follows from CTM alone. Bruno is putting
 forward the Sceptical Hypothesis that I am being simulated
 on a UD. However, if I am entiteld to assign a very low
 likelihood to that SH along with all the many others, alowing me
 to know in a good-enough way that matter is real, reality is
 real etc. It is very important in these arguments to distinguish
 between certain knowledge and good-enough knowledge.

Well, the either the Olympia/MGA reductios entail this consequence, or
they don't.  You imply that they don't, but you still haven't put
forward a clear refutation in a fully explicit form that could be
considered here on its merits.  Until you can do this, it isn't a
question of certain or good-enough knowledge, but rather about the
logical entailment of CTM itself.  This is an extremely non-trivial
point: the burden of the argument is that CTM entails a reversal in
world-view; it is fundamentally incompatible with a materialist
metaphysics.

 BTW--why doens't O's R cut away Platonia in favour of
 a smaller material universe?

That is a tenable view.  But not with the simultaneous assumption of
CTM.  That is the point.  I should say that my starting position
before encountering Bruno's views was against the tenability of CTM on
the basis of any consistent notion of physical process.  Bruno hasn't
yet persuaded me that an explicitly non-computational theory of mind
on some such basis is actually untenable.  But he has awakened me to
the reverse realisation that a non-materialist world-view can tenably
be founded on CTM

David




 On 1 Sep, 11:09, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  This clearly unmasks any such notion of PM as a
  superfluous assumption with respect to CTM, and Occam consequently
  dictates that we discard it as any part of the theory.

  Au contraire, occam requires us to throw away the assumptions
  that we are 1 level deep, 2 levels deep... in  a virtualisation.

  Real reality is the simplest assumption

 Peter, you need to keep firmly in mind that the superfluity of PM
 follows on the *assumption* of CTM.  The razor is then applied on the
 basis of that assumption.  If you prefer a theory of mind based on
 real reality, fair enough, but then you must face the conclusion
 that CTM is no longer tenable in that role.

 No, none of that follows from CTM alone. Bruno is putting
 forward the Sceptical Hypothesis that I am being simulated
 on a UD. However, if I am entiteld to assign a very low
 likelihood to that SH along with all the many others, alowing me
 to know in a good-enough way that matter is real, reality is
 real etc. It is very important in these arguments to distinguish
 between certain knowledge and good-enough knowledge.

 BTW--why doens't O's R cut away Platonia in favour of
 a smaller material universe?

 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Bruno Marchal


On 01 Sep 2009, at 13:26, David Nyman wrote:

 Bruno hasn't
 yet persuaded me that an explicitly non-computational theory of mind
 on some such basis is actually untenable.


I don't think I have ever said that.

All what I propose is a (constructive) proof of the following  
equivalent propositions:

-  CTM implies physics is a branch of computer science (alias machine  
theology, number theory, etc...)
-   CTM  Physicalism entails (constructively) that 0 = 1
-  Physicalism entails that any theory of mind should rely on actual  
big infinities

The proof is constructive: CTM implies that physics, in all its  
precision, can be found in this way . (self-reference logic, etc.).

But the proof can be indeed weakened. We have still the reversal with  
transfinite weakening of comp. Hypermachine, oracles, etc. does not  
change the result. To keep physicalism intact we need a mind close to  
being, not a god, but *the * God, if that is not inconsistent. Who  
knows? In that case, comp, or CTM, is false.

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 12:26, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  Peter, you need to keep firmly in mind that the superfluity of PM
  follows on the *assumption* of CTM.  The razor is then applied on the
  basis of that assumption.  If you prefer a theory of mind based on
  real reality, fair enough, but then you must face the conclusion
  that CTM is no longer tenable in that role.

  No, none of that follows from CTM alone. Bruno is putting
  forward the Sceptical Hypothesis that I am being simulated
  on a UD. However, if I am entiteld to assign a very low
  likelihood to that SH along with all the many others, alowing me
  to know in a good-enough way that matter is real, reality is
  real etc. It is very important in these arguments to distinguish
  between certain knowledge and good-enough knowledge.

 Well, the either the Olympia/MGA reductios entail this consequence, or
 they don't.  You imply that they don't, but you still haven't put
 forward a clear refutation in a fully explicit form that could be
 considered here on its merits.

No-one's put forward a clear statement of it either.

  Until you can do this, it isn't a
 question of certain or good-enough knowledge, but rather about the
 logical entailment of CTM itself.

It's about both. It can have entail possibilities that
are very unlikely.

 This is an extremely non-trivial
 point: the burden of the argument is that CTM entails a reversal in
 world-view; it is fundamentally incompatible with a materialist
 metaphysics.

  BTW--why doens't O's R cut away Platonia in favour of
  a smaller material universe?

 That is a tenable view.  But not with the simultaneous assumption of
 CTM.


Because?

That is the point.  I should say that my starting position
 before encountering Bruno's views was against the tenability of CTM on
 the basis of any consistent notion of physical process.  Bruno hasn't
 yet persuaded me that an explicitly non-computational theory of mind
 on some such basis is actually untenable.  But he has awakened me to
 the reverse realisation that a non-materialist world-view can tenably
 be founded on CTM

coupled with Platonism.

 David


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 I claim that that is a *possiblity* and as such is enough
 to show that CTM does not necessarily follow from the computability of
 physics.

It may be easy to lose sight, in the flurry of debate, that the
argument is against CTM+PM.  AFAICS nobody is claiming that the
assumption of CTM is *forced* by the computability of physics,
although the contrary would of course argue against it.  Rather, *once
CTM is assumed* the entailment on the basis of UDA-8 is that PM is
false, or at best superfluous.  If we can't get past this point, we're
doomed to go round in circles.

 The CTM does indeed have hypotetical implciations about
 virtualisation, but nothing follows from that. There is no
 implication from I might be virtualised to I am virtualised any
 more than from I might be  BIV..

On the contrary, the insight that Bruno points out is that the force
of CTM consists precisely in the *assumption* that I am virtualised;
else it has no force.  This is the point.  UDA-8 is then designed to
expose the entailment that my generalised environment is virtualised
is thereby also forced.  Consequently the CTM is forced to be a theory
of mind-body, or else nothing.  This insight has replaced my previous
assessment that CTM was merely vacuous as a theory of mind.  You
however have been non-committal as to the validity of CTM on the basis
of PM.  What would it take to convince you one way or the other?

AFAICS in and of itself I might be BIV makes no explicit reference
to a theory of mind.

David




 On 1 Sep, 11:16, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
 Exactly,
 if mind is a computational process, there is no way for it to know it
 is being simulated on the level 0 of the real (if there is one).

 There would be *no difference* for it if it was simulated on virtual
 machine running on a virtual machine running on a virtual machine
 running on this level 0.

 Peter claims that level 0 is needed... but why ?

 I claim that that is a *possiblity* and as such is enough
 to show that CTM does not necessarily follow from the computability of
 physics.

If mind is
 computation, level 0 plays no role in consciousness. If CTM is true, I
 could run Peter with an abacus and that Peter would still forcelly
 argues that HE IS ON LEVEL 0... which is totally untrue in that case.

 And if I were a wizard I could trapsort you to Narnia and make you
 believe you were still in France.

 The CTM does indeed have hypotetical implciations about
 virtualisation, but nothing follows from that. There is no
 implication from I might be virtualised to I am virtualised any
 more than from I might be  BIV..
 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 31 Aug, 15:38, Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be wrote:
 On 31 Aug 2009, at 15:47, Flammarion wrote:





  On 30 Aug, 07:54, Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be wrote:
  On 29 Aug 2009, at 20:34, Flammarion wrote:

  On 28 Aug, 18:02, Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be wrote:
  On 28 Aug 2009, at 17:58, Brent Meeker wrote:

  If the physical laws are turing emulable, then whatever is
  responsible
  for my consciousness can be Turing emulable at some level (I assume
  some form of naturalism/materialism or computationalism).OK? If
  not,
  your brain (generalized or not) does not obeys to the laws of
  physics.

  That may buy you no more than mere simulation. The CTM is a
  stronger claim than the computability of physics. it means that you
  will
  get actual implementation (strong AI) and not just simulation (weak
  AI)

  In that sense, I am OK here. Actually strong AI is even weaker than
  CTM.

  Be that as it may, neither is directly implied by the computability of
  physics

 We agree on this.



  My reconstitution can believe wrongly that he is me, yet
  conscious. But I was assuming some naturalism here, and if the
  physical laws are computable, and I still say no to the doctor, then
  my identity is no more defined by the computation, but by the actual
  matter which constitutes me,

  That is one reason for saying no.

 But then biology makes you at most seven years old. We do have
 evidence that our body molecules are replaced rather quickly.

  Another is that your identity *is*
  given
  by the computation (in line with the idea that PM is propertiless),
  and that
  the computation needs to run on the metal (at 0 levelsof
  virtualisation)
  to be genuinely conscious and not just an ersatz functional
  equivalent.

 But then you say no the digit-doctor and CTM is abandoned.

Yes, it is supposed to be a reason for sayign no. The
point is that it si a reason compatible with teh computability
of physics. People who say no do not have to be assuming
uncomputatiblity as you keep insisting.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 31 Aug, 15:14, Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be wrote:
 On 30 Aug 2009, at 23:21, David Nyman wrote:



  2009/8/28 Brent Meeker meeke...@dslextreme.com:

  Ok, so you want to solve the hard problem right at the beginning by
  taking conscious thoughts as the basic elements of your ontology.

  No I don't - that's why I said I'd rather not use the word
  consciousness.  What I have in mind at this point in the argument is a
  primitive, not an elaborated, notion - like PM vis-a-vis materialism,
  or AR vis-a-vis comp.

 I would not put AR on the same par as PM(*).

 I know that Peter have problem with this, but AR does not commit you
 ontologically.

if it doesn't, there is no UD, and no existential conclusions follow
from your arguments.

 It is just the idea that arithmetical propositions are
 either true or false. It is an initial segment of all theories capable
 to prove the existence of universal machine (be it quantum mechanics,
 Newtonian Physics, real numbers + trigonometry, etc.). Only
 philosopher of mathematics can doubt it, and even here, few doubt it.
 A slightly variant of AR works for intuitionism. I really think you
 have to be an ultrafinitist to believe that AR is false. AR is used
 implicitly by formalist, and formalist can use formal version of AR,
 except the day they do say consciopusly (aware of the risk) yes to
 a digitalist doctor

Bivalence (AR qua truth) is indeed used by a lot of people,
but it doesn't buy you an ontologically exisiting UD.

 PM is a metaphysical commitment that a primary substance exists. It is
 already part of a theology, in the large sense of the word. AR is used
 by everyone, PM is argued by theologians and philosophers. PM does not
 really appears in the theories by physicists. AR is explicitly used by
 them. AR is used when you say that sin2pix = 0 has an infinity of
 solutions, for example.  You can doubt it, of course, but then you
 have to accept ultra-finitism, or something like that.

 CT is a principle already far stronger and far more counter-intuitive
 than AR. yet I have never met someone doubting CT, and as I will show
 in detail soon enough, CT just makes no sense at all without AR.

 Bruno

 (*)
 AR = Arithmetical realism,
 PM = primary substance exists
 CT = Church's Thesis  (Post's law, Turing's thesis, Church-Turing's
 thesis, etc.).

 http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/1 Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be:

 Bruno hasn't
 yet persuaded me that an explicitly non-computational theory of mind
 on some such basis is actually untenable.


 I don't think I have ever said that.

No, you're right.  However I was referring to the fact that you
sometimes attach certain, presumably in-your-view problematic,
entailments to it (see below).

 -  Physicalism entails that any theory of mind should rely on actual
 big infinities

 The proof is constructive: CTM implies that physics, in all its
 precision, can be found in this way . (self-reference logic, etc.).

 But the proof can be indeed weakened. We have still the reversal with
 transfinite weakening of comp. Hypermachine, oracles, etc. does not
 change the result. To keep physicalism intact we need a mind close to
 being, not a god, but *the * God, if that is not inconsistent. Who
 knows? In that case, comp, or CTM, is false.

Does your comment above about big infinities and *the* God
correspond in any way to Plotinus's view of the One, or the poetic
idea that the universe is the mind of God?   IOW that the context of
mind would have to encompass *everything physical* (however we might
express this in terms of current theory) rather than be based on some
definable computational subset such as AR?  In this case, I guess
there might still be a way to recover the first-person I as
attachable to physically-differentiated viewpoints within such a
maximally generalised context.  The WR problem might still be present
with a vengeance, depending on choice of QM interpretation, and in any
case current physicalist assumptions about mind IMO make light both of
persons and mental appearances.  Is there some more-or-less coherent
way to characterise the dichotomies between CTM and physicalist
theories of mind on some such basis?

BTW, discussion of the strong entailment against PM as explanatory of
the appearance of matter within CTM is still stalled on Peter's
complaint that there has not been a clear demonstration of the
validity of the UDA-8 MGA/Olympia arguments.  Is there anything
further that can be done to resolve this?  I note that, in addition to
your own papers, there have been many extensive threads on this topic
on the list.  Is there some way to summarise these that would aid the
situation, or do you perhaps feel that sufficient has been published
to place the burden of proof on the dissenter?

David



 On 01 Sep 2009, at 13:26, David Nyman wrote:

 Bruno hasn't
 yet persuaded me that an explicitly non-computational theory of mind
 on some such basis is actually untenable.


 I don't think I have ever said that.

 All what I propose is a (constructive) proof of the following
 equivalent propositions:

 -  CTM implies physics is a branch of computer science (alias machine
 theology, number theory, etc...)
 -   CTM  Physicalism entails (constructively) that 0 = 1
 -  Physicalism entails that any theory of mind should rely on actual
 big infinities

 The proof is constructive: CTM implies that physics, in all its
 precision, can be found in this way . (self-reference logic, etc.).

 But the proof can be indeed weakened. We have still the reversal with
 transfinite weakening of comp. Hypermachine, oracles, etc. does not
 change the result. To keep physicalism intact we need a mind close to
 being, not a god, but *the * God, if that is not inconsistent. Who
 knows? In that case, comp, or CTM, is false.

 Bruno


 http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 13:49, Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be wrote:
 On 01 Sep 2009, at 13:04, Flammarion wrote:



  On 1 Sep, 11:56, Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be wrote:
  On 01 Sep 2009, at 10:49, Flammarion wrote:

  Can't matter have processes?

  But in that line of discussion, the question should be: can primary
  matter have processes. You said yourself that primary matter is
  propertyless. How something without property can implement processes,
  with or without qualia?

  PM has no essential properties, but is the bearer of all
  otther properties.

 How could something without property be a bearer of property?

How can you write on blank paper?

  It can implement a computation in just
  the same way it can be red.

 How ?

By bearing properties

 Without properties, I don't see how it could implement a computation.


It can bear the propreties of any physical coputer you care to
mention.

  (Althoguh the combinatin PM+red
  is of course not PM. It is only PM as a bare substrate).

  I begin to think that your primary matter is even incompatible with
  physicalism.

  

 Could you give any reference of a text in physics which uses the
 notion of primary matter?

 Could you give just a physical fact or proposition which would
 accredit the existence of primary matter?

 What is the relation between primary matter and space, time, and
 energy? Does primary matter have mass?

Mass is a property. But the existence of conserved
quantities is a clue to PM. PM must be endduring because
it has not proeprties to change.


Matter is a bare substrate with no properties of its own. The question
may well be asked at this point: what roles does it perform ? Why not
dispense with matter and just have bundles of properties -- what does
matter add to a merely abstract set of properties? The answer is that
not all bundles of posible properties are instantiated, that they
exist.

What does it mean to say something exists ? ..exists is a meaningful
predicate of concepts rather than things. The thing must exist in some
sense to be talked about. But if it existed full, a statement like
Nessie doesn't exist would be a contradiction ...it would amount to
the existing thing Nessie doesnt exist. However, if we take that the
some sense in which the subject of an ...exists predicate exists
is only initially as a concept, we can then say whether or not the
concept has something to refer to. Thus Bigfoot exists would mean
the concept 'Bigfoot' has a referent.

What matter adds to a bundle of properties is existence. A non-
existent bundle of properties is a mere concept, a mere possibility.
Thus the concept of matter is very much tied to the idea of
contingency or somethingism -- the idea that only certain possible
things exist.

The other issue matter is able to explain as a result of having no
properties of its own is the issue of change and time. For change to
be distinguishable from mere succession, it must be change in
something. It could be a contingent natural law that certain
properties never change. However, with a propertiless substrate, it
becomes a logical necessity that the substrate endures through change;
since all changes are changes in properties, a propertiless substrate
cannot itself change and must endure through change. In more detail
here

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Bruno Marchal


On 01 Sep 2009, at 13:04, Flammarion wrote:




 On 1 Sep, 11:56, Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be wrote:
 On 01 Sep 2009, at 10:49, Flammarion wrote:

 Can't matter have processes?

 But in that line of discussion, the question should be: can primary
 matter have processes. You said yourself that primary matter is
 propertyless. How something without property can implement processes,
 with or without qualia?

 PM has no essential properties, but is the bearer of all
 otther properties.

How could something without property be a bearer of property?


 It can implement a computation in just
 the same way it can be red.

How ?

Without properties, I don't see how it could implement a computation.



 (Althoguh the combinatin PM+red
 is of course not PM. It is only PM as a bare substrate).

 I begin to think that your primary matter is even incompatible with
 physicalism.


 


Could you give any reference of a text in physics which uses the  
notion of primary matter?

Could you give just a physical fact or proposition which would  
accredit the existence of primary matter?

What is the relation between primary matter and space, time, and  
energy? Does primary matter have mass?

Bruno
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Bruno Marchal


On 01 Sep 2009, at 14:59, Flammarion wrote:




 On 1 Sep, 13:49, Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be wrote:
 On 01 Sep 2009, at 13:04, Flammarion wrote:



 On 1 Sep, 11:56, Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be wrote:
 On 01 Sep 2009, at 10:49, Flammarion wrote:

 Can't matter have processes?

 But in that line of discussion, the question should be: can primary
 matter have processes. You said yourself that primary matter is
 propertyless. How something without property can implement  
 processes,
 with or without qualia?

 PM has no essential properties, but is the bearer of all
 otther properties.

 How could something without property be a bearer of property?

 How can you write on blank paper?

Because blank paper has the property of retaining ink, being stable on  
my desk.





 It can implement a computation in just
 the same way it can be red.

 How ?

 By bearing properties

How ?




 Without properties, I don't see how it could implement a computation.


 It can bear the propreties of any physical coputer you care to
 mention.

 (Althoguh the combinatin PM+red
 is of course not PM. It is only PM as a bare substrate).

 I begin to think that your primary matter is even incompatible with
 physicalism.

 

 Could you give any reference of a text in physics which uses the
 notion of primary matter?

 Could you give just a physical fact or proposition which would
 accredit the existence of primary matter?

 What is the relation between primary matter and space, time, and
 energy? Does primary matter have mass?

 Mass is a property. But the existence of conserved
 quantities is a clue to PM. PM must be endduring because
 it has not proeprties to change.


 Matter is a bare substrate with no properties of its own. The question
 may well be asked at this point: what roles does it perform ? Why not
 dispense with matter and just have bundles of properties -- what does
 matter add to a merely abstract set of properties? The answer is that
 not all bundles of posible properties are instantiated, that they
 exist.

In which theory?




 What does it mean to say something exists ? ..exists is a meaningful
 predicate of concepts rather than things.

I could agree with that. But concept are typically non material.



 The thing must exist in some
 sense to be talked about.

in some sense. Sure. No need to restricted oneself on a speculative  
ontological sense.



 But if it existed full, a statement like
 Nessie doesn't exist would be a contradiction ...it would amount to
 the existing thing Nessie doesnt exist. However, if we take that the
 some sense in which the subject of an ...exists predicate exists
 is only initially as a concept, we can then say whether or not the
 concept has something to refer to. Thus Bigfoot exists would mean
 the concept 'Bigfoot' has a referent.

 What matter adds to a bundle of properties is existence.

No, it is physical existence, you usually mean, and this does not  
work, or there is an error in MGA.


 A non-
 existent bundle of properties is a mere concept, a mere possibility.
 Thus the concept of matter is very much tied to the idea of
 contingency or somethingism -- the idea that only certain possible
 things exist.

Yes, that is my favorite definition of matter, quite close to Plotinus  
'Platonist correction' of Aristotle.
Yet, with comp, and actually with quantum mechanics, such existence  
are necessarily relative.
No need, and no possibility of using such matter for justifying the  
absolute bearer of contingency (as your PM is).

You look like the Bohmian of comp (and take this as a compliment).  
Like Bohm you add something, PM, to select a reality, where comp  
explain how the selection has to be done by the observer only.




 The other issue matter is able to explain as a result of having no
 properties of its own is the issue of change and time. For change to
 be distinguishable from mere succession, it must be change in
 something. It could be a contingent natural law that certain
 properties never change. However, with a propertiless substrate, it
 becomes a logical necessity that the substrate endures through change;
 since all changes are changes in properties, a propertiless substrate
 cannot itself change and must endure through change. In more detail
 here


?
Anyway, I was hoping to be able to guess where your PM would  
jeopardize the movie-graph, because I have no clue.
You may consider this: you have not yet told anyone at which line of  
MGA you have a problem with. You just repeat vague statement according  
to which there is something implicit, like the ontological existence  
of a UD, and don't answer my question of where such ontological  
existence is used in the reasoning.

I could give bad notes to my students just by telling them that their  
work is full of invisible faults. Easy!


Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread David Nyman

On 1 Sep, 12:04, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:

 Yeah. Or you could just answer my questions.

The problem is the world of assumption contained in your use of
just.  There is no possibility of a context-free 'objective'
exchange of views.  There must be some sympathetic matching of
contexts of understanding, even if only for the honourable purpose of
comprehending a viewpoint as intended in order to discount it with a
clear conscience.  Popper is my touchstone for this, in that he always
attested - and demonstrated - the commitment to attack arguments only
in their *strongest* form, often explicitly strengthening the received
version before going on to criticize it on that basis.  In my
experience, those who have been most successful in changing my views
have done so by demonstrating such a superior insight into my own
position that I was able to see my own error.

Please don't misunderstand my remarks as any personal criticism.  If
you review the thread I'm sure you wouldn't dispute that I have been
ready to respond to your questions.  I do however conclude on this
evidence that, considered as a dialogue, it seems unlikely to arrive
at any concurrence of view, or even a clear understanding over the
essence of the divergence.  And this is all the more to be regretted
as I feel, based on more considered presentations of your ideas (e.g.
your website, occasionally abstracted here), that our views are often
more compatible than would seem likely in the heat of these more
fractious skirmishes.

David

 On 1 Sep, 11:19, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:

  2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

  Peter, I've considered whether anything is to be gained from my
  responding further, and much as I regret coming to this conclusion, I
  don't think we can make any further progress together on this topic.
  If such were possible, I suspect it would require a great deal more
  patience and willingness to consider world-views more comprehensively,
  probably on both our parts, rather than reciprocal logic-chopping that
  strikes me as fundamentally at cross-purposes.

 Yeah. Or you could just answer my questions.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread David Nyman

On 1 Sep, 13:08, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:

 That is the point.  I should say that my starting position
  before encountering Bruno's views was against the tenability of CTM on
  the basis of any consistent notion of physical process.  Bruno hasn't
  yet persuaded me that an explicitly non-computational theory of mind
  on some such basis is actually untenable.  But he has awakened me to
  the reverse realisation that a non-materialist world-view can tenably
  be founded on CTM

 coupled with Platonism.

With respect, Peter, you continue to miss the point.  What Bruno has
demonstrated is that CTM as a mind-body theory (which is what UDA-8
shows it must be) makes no ontological commitment *by its very
virtuality*.  Or rather, any such commitment is shown to be vacuous.
Consequently under CTM, one is committed to RITSIAR=virtual, not
RITSIAR=platonic.  Now, one obviously has the option *precisely in
virtue of this* to dismiss CTM as itself vacuous.  But this is the
value of the insight: its force is to commit you to these explicit
choices, and hence to cease vacillating between incompatible
theoretical conjunctions.

David

 On 1 Sep, 12:26, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:



  2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

   Peter, you need to keep firmly in mind that the superfluity of PM
   follows on the *assumption* of CTM.  The razor is then applied on the
   basis of that assumption.  If you prefer a theory of mind based on
   real reality, fair enough, but then you must face the conclusion
   that CTM is no longer tenable in that role.

   No, none of that follows from CTM alone. Bruno is putting
   forward the Sceptical Hypothesis that I am being simulated
   on a UD. However, if I am entiteld to assign a very low
   likelihood to that SH along with all the many others, alowing me
   to know in a good-enough way that matter is real, reality is
   real etc. It is very important in these arguments to distinguish
   between certain knowledge and good-enough knowledge.

  Well, the either the Olympia/MGA reductios entail this consequence, or
  they don't.  You imply that they don't, but you still haven't put
  forward a clear refutation in a fully explicit form that could be
  considered here on its merits.

 No-one's put forward a clear statement of it either.

   Until you can do this, it isn't a
  question of certain or good-enough knowledge, but rather about the
  logical entailment of CTM itself.

 It's about both. It can have entail possibilities that
 are very unlikely.

  This is an extremely non-trivial
  point: the burden of the argument is that CTM entails a reversal in
  world-view; it is fundamentally incompatible with a materialist
  metaphysics.

   BTW--why doens't O's R cut away Platonia in favour of
   a smaller material universe?

  That is a tenable view.  But not with the simultaneous assumption of
  CTM.

 Because?

 That is the point.  I should say that my starting position
  before encountering Bruno's views was against the tenability of CTM on
  the basis of any consistent notion of physical process.  Bruno hasn't
  yet persuaded me that an explicitly non-computational theory of mind
  on some such basis is actually untenable.  But he has awakened me to
  the reverse realisation that a non-materialist world-view can tenably
  be founded on CTM

 coupled with Platonism.

  David
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 15:00, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 1 Sep, 13:08, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:

  That is the point.  I should say that my starting position
   before encountering Bruno's views was against the tenability of CTM on
   the basis of any consistent notion of physical process.  Bruno hasn't
   yet persuaded me that an explicitly non-computational theory of mind
   on some such basis is actually untenable.  But he has awakened me to
   the reverse realisation that a non-materialist world-view can tenably
   be founded on CTM

  coupled with Platonism.

 With respect, Peter, you continue to miss the point.  What Bruno has
 demonstrated is that CTM as a mind-body theory (which is what UDA-8
 shows it must be) makes no ontological commitment *by its very
 virtuality*.  Or rather, any such commitment is shown to be vacuous.

There's got to be somehting at the bottom of the stack. Bruno
wants to substitue matetr with Platonia as the substrate.
If there is nothing at the bottom
of the stack, there are no virtualisations running higher up.

 Consequently under CTM, one is committed to RITSIAR=virtual, not
 RITSIAR=platonic.

CTM only suggests that I *could* be virtualised. Alternatively
I could be running on the metal. I do wish you guys would undertand
that
Possible X = actually X
is a fallacy.

 Now, one obviously has the option *precisely in
 virtue of this* to dismiss CTM as itself vacuous.  But this is the
 value of the insight: its force is to commit you to these explicit
 choices, and hence to cease vacillating between incompatible
 theoretical conjunctions.

No incompatibility has been demonstrated.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 14:40, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 1 Sep, 12:04, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:

  Yeah. Or you could just answer my questions.

 The problem is the world of assumption contained in your use of
 just.

Really?

There is no possibility of a context-free 'objective'
 exchange of views.  There must be some sympathetic matching of
 contexts of understanding, even if only for the honourable purpose of
 comprehending a viewpoint as intended in order to discount it with a
 clear conscience.

it is standard practice for lecturers to ask for quesitons when they
have
finished. They do that because it works -- it clears up
misudnerstandings.
Assuming that miscommunication has to be the audiences fault doesn;t
work.
I have never seen that in a professional settign but it is quite
common on
usenet.

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Quentin Anciaux

2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:



 On 1 Sep, 15:00, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 1 Sep, 13:08, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:

  That is the point.  I should say that my starting position
   before encountering Bruno's views was against the tenability of CTM on
   the basis of any consistent notion of physical process.  Bruno hasn't
   yet persuaded me that an explicitly non-computational theory of mind
   on some such basis is actually untenable.  But he has awakened me to
   the reverse realisation that a non-materialist world-view can tenably
   be founded on CTM

  coupled with Platonism.

 With respect, Peter, you continue to miss the point.  What Bruno has
 demonstrated is that CTM as a mind-body theory (which is what UDA-8
 shows it must be) makes no ontological commitment *by its very
 virtuality*.  Or rather, any such commitment is shown to be vacuous.

 There's got to be somehting at the bottom of the stack. Bruno
 wants to substitue matetr with Platonia as the substrate.
 If there is nothing at the bottom
 of the stack, there are no virtualisations running higher up.

There's no bottom. Why would you need one ? It's turtle all the way down !

The bottom of the stack is a *relative* notion.

 Consequently under CTM, one is committed to RITSIAR=virtual, not
 RITSIAR=platonic.

 CTM only suggests that I *could* be virtualised. Alternatively
 I could be running on the metal. I do wish you guys would undertand
 that
 Possible X = actually X
 is a fallacy.

 Now, one obviously has the option *precisely in
 virtue of this* to dismiss CTM as itself vacuous.  But this is the
 value of the insight: its force is to commit you to these explicit
 choices, and hence to cease vacillating between incompatible
 theoretical conjunctions.

 No incompatibility has been demonstrated.
 




-- 
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 15:50, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:





  On 1 Sep, 15:00, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
  On 1 Sep, 13:08, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:

   That is the point.  I should say that my starting position
before encountering Bruno's views was against the tenability of CTM on
the basis of any consistent notion of physical process.  Bruno hasn't
yet persuaded me that an explicitly non-computational theory of mind
on some such basis is actually untenable.  But he has awakened me to
the reverse realisation that a non-materialist world-view can tenably
be founded on CTM

   coupled with Platonism.

  With respect, Peter, you continue to miss the point.  What Bruno has
  demonstrated is that CTM as a mind-body theory (which is what UDA-8
  shows it must be) makes no ontological commitment *by its very
  virtuality*.  Or rather, any such commitment is shown to be vacuous.

  There's got to be somehting at the bottom of the stack. Bruno
  wants to substitue matetr with Platonia as the substrate.
  If there is nothing at the bottom
  of the stack, there are no virtualisations running higher up.

 There's no bottom. Why would you need one ? It's turtle all the way down !

That's another version of Platonia and therefore still an ontological
commitment.

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread David Nyman

2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:

 it is standard practice for lecturers to ask for quesitons when they
 have
 finished. They do that because it works -- it clears up
 misudnerstandings.
 Assuming that miscommunication has to be the audiences fault doesn;t
 work.
 I have never seen that in a professional settign but it is quite
 common on
 usenet.

Yes of course, naturally I welcome such questions; it's why I post in
the first place, and it's why I do my best to answer them.  But it
takes two to tango to avoid merely trampling on each others' toes.
For example, I read quesitons, misudnerstandings, and settign in
the spirit of trying to comprehend what you mean, rather than
literally what you write!  And of course to impute 'fault' to the
audience would in itself be unhelpfully contentious.   I do however
observe - based on much experience both good and bad - that in any
context, professional or otherwise, increased comprehension is
ultimately better served by the outcome of a mutually engaged
approach.

In particular, outside the professional context, it is much more
problematic to assume compatibility in terminology and philosophical
background.  For example, you may have noticed that I sometimes
enquire of someone perhaps when you say such and such you mean this
or that? because their words seem to assume some unspecified context
and my proposal may suggest to them where I have progressed in my
understanding of their viewpoint, whilst providing an opportunity to
provide a wider frame in responding.  I must say it is when you
yourself have done something of this sort that I find it easiest to
respond in kind.

David




 On 1 Sep, 14:40, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 1 Sep, 12:04, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:

  Yeah. Or you could just answer my questions.

 The problem is the world of assumption contained in your use of
 just.

 Really?

There is no possibility of a context-free 'objective'
 exchange of views.  There must be some sympathetic matching of
 contexts of understanding, even if only for the honourable purpose of
 comprehending a viewpoint as intended in order to discount it with a
 clear conscience.

 it is standard practice for lecturers to ask for quesitons when they
 have
 finished. They do that because it works -- it clears up
 misudnerstandings.
 Assuming that miscommunication has to be the audiences fault doesn;t
 work.
 I have never seen that in a professional settign but it is quite
 common on
 usenet.

 


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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Bruno Marchal


On 01 Sep 2009, at 16:32, Flammarion wrote:




 On 1 Sep, 15:00, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 1 Sep, 13:08, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:

 That is the point.  I should say that my starting position
 before encountering Bruno's views was against the tenability of  
 CTM on
 the basis of any consistent notion of physical process.  Bruno  
 hasn't
 yet persuaded me that an explicitly non-computational theory of  
 mind
 on some such basis is actually untenable.  But he has awakened me  
 to
 the reverse realisation that a non-materialist world-view can  
 tenably
 be founded on CTM

 coupled with Platonism.

 With respect, Peter, you continue to miss the point.  What Bruno has
 demonstrated is that CTM as a mind-body theory (which is what UDA-8
 shows it must be) makes no ontological commitment *by its very
 virtuality*.  Or rather, any such commitment is shown to be vacuous.

 There's got to be somehting at the bottom of the stack. Bruno
 wants to substitue matetr with Platonia as the substrate.
 If there is nothing at the bottom
 of the stack, there are no virtualisations running higher up.

 Consequently under CTM, one is committed to RITSIAR=virtual, not
 RITSIAR=platonic.

 CTM only suggests that I *could* be virtualised. Alternatively
 I could be running on the metal. I do wish you guys would undertand
 that
 Possible X = actually X
 is a fallacy.

So you have a problem with the indexical approach of time, and space.  
Of course it is the milk of the everything-list basic idea. And MGA,  
certainly not just MGA, shows that comp entails the indexical  
approach. Actually X is indeed just consistent X as seen from inside.



 Now, one obviously has the option *precisely in
 virtue of this* to dismiss CTM as itself vacuous.  But this is the
 value of the insight: its force is to commit you to these explicit
 choices, and hence to cease vacillating between incompatible
 theoretical conjunctions.

 No incompatibility has been demonstrated.


Given the references to text and posts, we are still waiting a  
justification of this statement.
A scientist would say: your going from this line to this line is  
invalid for this reason.

B.

 

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread David Nyman

On 1 Sep, 15:32, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:

 There's got to be somehting at the bottom of the stack. Bruno
 wants to substitue matetr with Platonia as the substrate.
 If there is nothing at the bottom
 of the stack, there are no virtualisations running higher up.

Yes, it sounds logically compelling when you put it like that, doesn't
it?  But the entailment of CTM - and this is why it's so important for
you to clarify your objections to this - is that there is nothing that
can be said about the bottom of the stack that is not vacuous with
respect to computational theory.  CTM forces us to face the issue of
the incompatibility of what we think we want out of an ontology, and
what we can actually get on the basis of a given theory.  CTM forces
you - by Occam - to disregard any effects of a non-virtual ontology.
Beyond this, there's nothing to stop you making an additional claim
that it must nonetheless supervene on 'real matter' in order to be
really real.  But in that case, after the application of the razor,
it's you who are invoking pixies.

If you don't like this, you have the option of abandoning CTM and with
it the notion of a virtual ontology.  This is so clear cut that I
would expect that you would welcome the opportunity either to accept
it or refute it with precise counter-argument.  Which is it to be?

  Consequently under CTM, one is committed to RITSIAR=virtual, not
  RITSIAR=platonic.

 CTM only suggests that I *could* be virtualised. Alternatively
 I could be running on the metal. I do wish you guys would undertand
 that
 Possible X = actually X
 is a fallacy.

CTM does not only suggest this, it forces the conclusion, or else
collapses.  Saying no to the doctor implies either that you distrust
his command of theory or praxis, or alternatively that you don't
believe in CTM - this is still your option.  This is such a crucial
point that at this stage ISTM that it requires either clear acceptance
on the basis of truth, or clear refutation on the basis of error.
AFAICS these discussions are absolutely pointless on any other basis.

  Now, one obviously has the option *precisely in
  virtue of this* to dismiss CTM as itself vacuous.  But this is the
  value of the insight: its force is to commit you to these explicit
  choices, and hence to cease vacillating between incompatible
  theoretical conjunctions.

 No incompatibility has been demonstrated.

Well, I and others have argued at some length that it has, and Bruno
in particular has argued with great precision that it has.  The floor
is yours.

David

 On 1 Sep, 15:00, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:



  On 1 Sep, 13:08, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:

   That is the point.  I should say that my starting position
before encountering Bruno's views was against the tenability of CTM on
the basis of any consistent notion of physical process.  Bruno hasn't
yet persuaded me that an explicitly non-computational theory of mind
on some such basis is actually untenable.  But he has awakened me to
the reverse realisation that a non-materialist world-view can tenably
be founded on CTM

   coupled with Platonism.

  With respect, Peter, you continue to miss the point.  What Bruno has
  demonstrated is that CTM as a mind-body theory (which is what UDA-8
  shows it must be) makes no ontological commitment *by its very
  virtuality*.  Or rather, any such commitment is shown to be vacuous.

 There's got to be somehting at the bottom of the stack. Bruno
 wants to substitue matetr with Platonia as the substrate.
 If there is nothing at the bottom
 of the stack, there are no virtualisations running higher up.

  Consequently under CTM, one is committed to RITSIAR=virtual, not
  RITSIAR=platonic.

 CTM only suggests that I *could* be virtualised. Alternatively
 I could be running on the metal. I do wish you guys would undertand
 that
 Possible X = actually X
 is a fallacy.

  Now, one obviously has the option *precisely in
  virtue of this* to dismiss CTM as itself vacuous.  But this is the
  value of the insight: its force is to commit you to these explicit
  choices, and hence to cease vacillating between incompatible
  theoretical conjunctions.

 No incompatibility has been demonstrated.
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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Bruno Marchal


On 01 Sep 2009, at 16:53, Flammarion wrote:




 On 1 Sep, 15:50, Quentin Anciaux allco...@gmail.com wrote:
 2009/9/1 Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com:





 On 1 Sep, 15:00, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
 On 1 Sep, 13:08, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:

 That is the point.  I should say that my starting position
 before encountering Bruno's views was against the tenability of  
 CTM on
 the basis of any consistent notion of physical process.  Bruno  
 hasn't
 yet persuaded me that an explicitly non-computational theory of  
 mind
 on some such basis is actually untenable.  But he has awakened  
 me to
 the reverse realisation that a non-materialist world-view can  
 tenably
 be founded on CTM

 coupled with Platonism.

 With respect, Peter, you continue to miss the point.  What Bruno  
 has
 demonstrated is that CTM as a mind-body theory (which is what UDA-8
 shows it must be) makes no ontological commitment *by its very
 virtuality*.  Or rather, any such commitment is shown to be  
 vacuous.

 There's got to be somehting at the bottom of the stack. Bruno
 wants to substitue matetr with Platonia as the substrate.
 If there is nothing at the bottom
 of the stack, there are no virtualisations running higher up.

 There's no bottom. Why would you need one ? It's turtle all the way  
 down !

 That's another version of Platonia and therefore still an ontological
 commitment.


No, it is the same arithmetical truth, but from the first person  
perspective. For this you need step seven + step eight.
You have not yet answer to the question about step seven I ask  
yesterday.

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Flammarion



On 1 Sep, 16:32, Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be wrote:
 On 01 Sep 2009, at 16:32, Flammarion wrote:





  On 1 Sep, 15:00, David Nyman david.ny...@gmail.com wrote:
  On 1 Sep, 13:08, Flammarion peterdjo...@yahoo.com wrote:

  That is the point.  I should say that my starting position
  before encountering Bruno's views was against the tenability of
  CTM on
  the basis of any consistent notion of physical process.  Bruno
  hasn't
  yet persuaded me that an explicitly non-computational theory of
  mind
  on some such basis is actually untenable.  But he has awakened me
  to
  the reverse realisation that a non-materialist world-view can
  tenably
  be founded on CTM

  coupled with Platonism.

  With respect, Peter, you continue to miss the point.  What Bruno has
  demonstrated is that CTM as a mind-body theory (which is what UDA-8
  shows it must be) makes no ontological commitment *by its very
  virtuality*.  Or rather, any such commitment is shown to be vacuous.

  There's got to be somehting at the bottom of the stack. Bruno
  wants to substitue matetr with Platonia as the substrate.
  If there is nothing at the bottom
  of the stack, there are no virtualisations running higher up.

  Consequently under CTM, one is committed to RITSIAR=virtual, not
  RITSIAR=platonic.

  CTM only suggests that I *could* be virtualised. Alternatively
  I could be running on the metal. I do wish you guys would undertand
  that
  Possible X = actually X
  is a fallacy.

 So you have a problem with the indexical approach of time, and space.

i don't know what you mean by that.

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Re: Dreaming On

2009-09-01 Thread Bruno Marchal


On 01 Sep 2009, at 14:52, David Nyman wrote:


 2009/9/1 Bruno Marchal marc...@ulb.ac.be:

 Bruno hasn't
 yet persuaded me that an explicitly non-computational theory of mind
 on some such basis is actually untenable.


 I don't think I have ever said that.

 No, you're right.  However I was referring to the fact that you
 sometimes attach certain, presumably in-your-view problematic,
 entailments to it (see below).

 -  Physicalism entails that any theory of mind should rely on actual
 big infinities

 The proof is constructive: CTM implies that physics, in all its
 precision, can be found in this way . (self-reference logic,  
 etc.).

 But the proof can be indeed weakened. We have still the reversal with
 transfinite weakening of comp. Hypermachine, oracles, etc. does not
 change the result. To keep physicalism intact we need a mind close to
 being, not a god, but *the * God, if that is not inconsistent. Who
 knows? In that case, comp, or CTM, is false.

 Does your comment above about big infinities and *the* God
 correspond in any way to Plotinus's view of the One, or the poetic
 idea that the universe is the mind of God?

Yes. I suggest to interpret the ONE of Plotinus by arithmetical truth.  
This is a highly non computable object.
It is provably the one of little Löbian machine, and it is still an  
open problem if it could be ours. Typically, human have in appearance  
stronger provability power than Pean Arithmetic (my lobian machine pet).



  IOW that the context of
 mind would have to encompass *everything physical* (however we might
 express this in terms of current theory) rather than be based on some
 definable computational subset such as AR?

AR extends the computable. AR is the belief that arithmetical truth  
makes sense, but it is far bigger than what machines can ever prove.  
This will be made more precise in the seventh step series thread.
And the physical world becomes even more complex. Even undecidable in  
company of an oracle for arithmetical truth. Plato's nous, Plotinus  
intellect is bigger than God, actually.



 In this case, I guess
 there might still be a way to recover the first-person I as
 attachable to physically-differentiated viewpoints within such a
 maximally generalised context.  The WR problem might still be present
 with a vengeance, depending on choice of QM interpretation,

I don't really believe there is any intepretation problem of QM. QM is  
the discovery of the quantum parallel universes, and right at the  
start the founder have put a principle (collapse) so that such  
universes disappears, but this has never been shown tenable. And then  
the works of Everett, Deutsch, to Zurek, shows that QM solves the  
white rabbit problem, except for the comp first person white rabbits,  
which needs the extraction of QM (SWE) from numbers.




 and in any
 case current physicalist assumptions about mind IMO make light both of
 persons and mental appearances.  Is there some more-or-less coherent
 way to characterise the dichotomies between CTM and physicalist
 theories of mind on some such basis?

Roughly speaking, because it is a vast subject, but for being short  
argument against Everett are of the same type than argument against  
comp.
Comp is an ally to Everett, except it shows that Everett has not been  
enough radical. It is really Church thesis which asks for such a  
radicality in the 'indexical approach.



 BTW, discussion of the strong entailment against PM as explanatory of
 the appearance of matter within CTM is still stalled on Peter's
 complaint that there has not been a clear demonstration of the
 validity of the UDA-8 MGA/Olympia arguments.  Is there anything
 further that can be done to resolve this?

Certainly, especially at the pedagogical problem. It is subtle matter.


  I note that, in addition to
 your own papers, there have been many extensive threads on this topic
 on the list.  Is there some way to summarise these that would aid the
 situation, or do you perhaps feel that sufficient has been published
 to place the burden of proof on the dissenter?

If the dissenter does not say where he has a problem, this is  
difficult to answer.

Bruno



http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




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