Re: computationalism and supervenience

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2006 11:43:01 +0200

Le 23-août-06, à 14:39, Russell Standish a écrit :

> On Wed, Aug 23, 2006 at 04:15:41PM +0200, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> Physical supervenience is not equivalent to assuming a concrete
>>> primitive material world. The latter is an additional assumption.
>> This depends entirely of what you mean by physical. If
>> "physical-supervenience" alludes to the comp-physics, then ok. If this
>> alludes to physics as understood by a aristotelian-matter physicist,
>> then physical supervenience need it.
>> Maudlin talk only about supervenience. For him it is just obvious that
>> comp makes it physical. Of course he is wrong there (or UDA contains
>> an
>> error, but this remains to be shown).
>> I have coined the term "physical supervenience", with "physical"
>> having
>> its standard aristotelian sense just to distinguish it with the
>> comp-supervenience idea that mind relies on the immaterial
>> computations
>> (an infinity of them to be precise).
>> Bruno
> Then this probably explains the confusion. Supervenience is merely
> the statement that the physical tokens of a consciousness cannot be
> identical for two different consciousnesses. The is independent of
> whether those "physical tokens" are "stuffy" or not - remember I have
> already bought your reversal of physical and mental explanations.

Thanks for acknowledging.

> Since you have already used "physical" to refer to this appearance of
> an objective universe, I merely thought you meant this classical
> supervenience when contraposed against computational supervenience.

I should perhaps use more systematically the expression "comp-physical".

> My point is that this classical supervenience is another way of
> stating the anthropic principle, and it is essential to avoid the
> whole idealist programme spiralling down the plughole of solipsism.
> So what your really saying when you've shown COMP => - PHYS SUP is
> that stuffy materialism is contradicted??

Not really contradicted. Only that stuffy materialism cannot attach the
first person to material stuff. The notion of stuff loose its ability
to explain the behavior of matter (which emerges from a measure on an
infinity of computations). It does not loose its ability to explain
mind because, well, it has never succeed on that question to begin

> That unfortunately is not
> how I've read the movie-graph argument - it is more like COMP =>
> supervenience on multiple universes.

I guess you mean immaterial universe or computation (giving what you
say above). OK then.


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Received on Thu Aug 24 2006 - 05:45:00 PDT

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