computationalism and supervenience

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 15:11:35 +1000

It seems to me that there are two main sticking points in the discussions on
several list threads in recent weeks. One is computationalism: is it right or wrong?
This at least is straightforward in that it comes down to a question of faith, in the
final analysis, as to whether you would accept a digital replacement brain or not
(Bruno's "yes doctor" choice). The other sticking point is, given computationalism
is right, what does it take to implement a computation? There have been arguments
that a computation is implemented by any physical system (Putnam, Searle, Moravec)
and by no physical system (Maudlin, Bruno Marchal). The discussion about Platonism
and the ontological status of mathematical structures, in particular, relates to this
second issue. Bruno alludes to it in several papers and posts, and also alludes to his
"movie graph argument", but as far as I can tell that argument in its entirety is only
available in French. Comments and elaboration would be welcome.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Mon Aug 21 2006 - 01:13:26 PDT

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