From: <GSLevy.domain.name.hidden>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 13:15:08 EDT

In a message dated 99-06-30 11:20:07 EDT, marchal.domain.name.hidden writes:

<< Precisely: Maudlin and me have proved that:
                 NOT comp OR NOT sup-phys
 i.e. computationalism and physical supervenience thesis are incompatible. >>

Forgive me for I am only a lowly engineer. Does the above mean that according
to Marchal and Maudlin consciousness is either due to "software" or
"hardware" but not both? Using these terms would make it much easier for me
to understand.

George Levy

attached mail follows:

>On 29 Mar -1, Marchal wrote:
>> Jacques M Mallah wrote
>> >So much for your alleged proof. There's nothing in
>> >it. It just presents an example of a physical situation in which a
>> >computation is not implemented, and claims that consciousness would not be
>> >present in that situation.
>> Euh... I think there is a little more. You really should read Maudlin.
>> He is more clear than me. It is in English !
>> Maudlin shows that you can take a piece of matter in which
>> no computation is implemented, and transform it, without adding
>> physical activity, into something in which a computation is implemented.
> So where is this writing of his? If you understand what he says
>you would be able to outline it. I don't need to tell you, I doubt there
>is anything to this new source of mischief which is conveniently not
>available on the 'net.

"conveniently" !!! So, now, if a paper is not available on the net it
it doesn't exist. Worst! for you, it seems it means it is a well
keeped secret; available only to those initiated old wise people who
remembers how to get a paper without father Net and mother Web ...

I could send you a copy of course, but when you say:
  <<I don't need to tell you, I doubt there is anything to this new
source of mischief>>, I really ask myself if it is worthwhile; you are
not very encouraging; it seems you have decided, once and for all, that
will never change your mind. "Mallah is right, everything else is
seems to be your favorite theory.

I will send it to you. I guess I can't help myself and I'm still betting
is an atom of reason in you.
(And of course I will send it to any people in the list who ask me for.
Just e-mail me your physical address (if you still remember what that
means ...).

> My guess is that it's just an example of a false implementation in
>the style of the 'clock and dial' example of Chalmers.

Ok, I have printed Chalmers' paper :


I will read it next week-end.
But you will discover that Maudlin is very carefull in describing the
character of his thought experiment. It has nothing to do with what
Maudlin called himself the "fallacious design strategy" (or something
like that). Nothing to do with Searle's chineese room, for exemple.

>If you look at
>my web page you'd see my proposals on that well known problem.

Oh yeah, I see, it is Chalmers refinement on Putnam's idea. All your
implementation's problem comes from your belief in a absolute/substancial
reality. You will soon realize that "implementation" is a relative notion.

A last thing. Although Maudlin and me have produced independently the same
'proof', we conclude in totally different ways.

Precisely: Maudlin and me have proved that:

                NOT comp OR NOT sup-phys

i.e. computationalism and physical supervenience thesis are incompatible.
Now, comp is my working hypothesis, so I conclude NOT sup-phys. That
means consciousness is not a product (not even an epiphenomenal product)
of the physical activity of the brain.

But Maudlin (like almost everybody) strongly belief in sup-phys, so he
concludes correctly that NOT comp. (All pleasure for Gilles Henri,
Jacques Bailhache and other non-computationalist !)

Received on Wed Jun 30 1999 - 10:17:49 PDT

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