Re: computationalism and supervenience

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 13:49:32 -0700

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> 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

If it's a question *only* of faith, it's probably a non-question. I can think of a
lot of evidence that might sway my answer to the doctor.

But leaving that aside, I think there is another question in play: What kind of
computation implements intelligence? ...consciousness? Is it every computation,
with differences only of degree? Or are there distinct requirements?

Brent Meeker

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Received on Mon Aug 21 2006 - 16:51:25 PDT

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