RE: computationalism and supervenience

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2006 21:21:02 +1000

Brent Meeker writes:

> > I'm responsible for a misunderstanding if you thought I meant "recording"
> > in the usual sense of the word, i.e. a copy of a limited subset (sound or
> > video, for example) of a subject's attributes over a period of time. What
> > I intended was a copy of all of the subject's attributes, but constrained
> > so that it will run the same way over and over, like an automaton. For
> > example, if you have an elaborate computer game with characters with
> > whom you can interact so they pass the Turing test, you can record the
> > whole session, including your keyboard inputs, and "play" it a second time.
> > The computer goes through exactly the same states the second time around,
> > but it really has no choice: the recording constrains its behaviour as rigidly
> > as a video tape constrains the behaviour of the video player and TV (actually
> > more rigidly, since there is always some variation between runs with analogue
> > systems). Would you say that the characters in the game are conscious on
> > the first run but not on the second?
> >
> > Stathis Papaioannou
> I think this turns on the referent of "the characters". If it means the sequence of
> computer states that represents the characters in that game - no. If it means the
> programs that represent the characters, programs that would have responded
> differently had circumstances been different, then - yes. At least that's the theory
> that consciousness depends on counterfactuals.

That's the the theory that I'm disputing. There seems to me to be no good reason
for it.

Stathis Papaioannou
Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at
Received on Sat Aug 26 2006 - 07:22:53 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:12 PST