Re: computationalism and supervenience

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 16:48:01 +0200

Le 25-août-06, à 01:01, Russell Standish a écrit :

> On Thu, Aug 24, 2006 at 09:04:26PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>> Is there any reason to believe that we would lose consciousness, or
>> notice
>> that anything strange had happened at all, if most or all of the
>> parallel branches
>> in the multiverse suddenly vanished?
> I think this question is ill-posed, but I'll try to answer another
> question that may have some bearing on what your trying to get at.
> The Game of Life is known to be Turing complete.


> However, I do not
> think any arrangement of dots in GoL could be conscious.

Me too.

> Rather there
> is an arrangement that implements a universal dovetailer.

OK. And its execution can be nicely rendered by an infinite three
dimensional "cone" obtained by putting the "GoL planes" of each step of
the GoL-UD execution upon each other.

> The UD is
> quite possibly enough to emulate the full Multiverse (this is sort of
> where
> Bruno's partail results are pointing), which we know contain conscious
> processes.

Of course a non-computationalist will say that it contains only
Now I have a problem with the assertion "the UD emulates the full
This is because, a priori, with comp, by the UDA, the comp-physical
laws will emerge from the first person (plural) computations and their
"probabilistic interference". There is no reason for the UD to emulate
that, because it is not, a priori, something computable. It relies on
internal sum of infinity of computations. It would be computable if
the exact probability calculus was itself computable, but this would
occur only if
1) there is a program generating the multiverse (we are close to
Schmidhuber view in that case)
2) that program is the only program which generates you (meaning that
your level of substitution is the lowest possible: it is a comp version
of a quasi non-comp hypothesis.
But my whole point is that this is testable, and remain to be seen. Of
course, a neurophilosopher, even one belonging to Hamerof's school,
will find this quite unlikely.

> This is what I believe Maudlin's argument is telling us.
> So am I computationalist? On the most obvious level, no. However,
> considering the above perhaps I am Bruno's sort of computationalist
> with a very deep level of replacement (ie switching entire realities).

OK, that looks like what I was saying.

> Confused? That would make two of us.

Ah? Why? You seemed quite coherent here ...

I must go, and I will read the other posts tomorrow. Have a good


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Received on Fri Aug 25 2006 - 10:49:56 PDT

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