Re: computationalism and supervenience

From: 1Z <>
Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2006 14:35:07 -0000

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

> Peter Jones writes:
> > > A classical computer is perfectly deterministic - it wouldn't be much use as a computer if were not. If
> > > it is provided with the same inputs, it will go through the same sequence of physical states.
> >
> > But here it is not the computation itself that is
> > recorded, just the input that drives it.
> >
> > > On run
> > > no. 1 it could be provided with input from a human, or a true random number generator, for example
> > > one based on radioactive decay. On run no. 2 it could be provided with a recording of the input from
> > > run no. 1, so that we know exactly what the computer's responses will be, as surely as we know what
> > > the behaviour of a tape recording or a clockwork mechanism will be.
> >
> > That doesn't prove that a recording is the same as a
> > a computation. What you are talking about is
> > a computation driven by a recording.
> That's right, but with a fixed input the computer follows a perfectly deterministic course, like a clockwork
> mechanism, however many times we repeat the run. Moreover, if we consider the recording of the input
> as hardwired into the computer, it does not interact with its environment. So we have the possibility that
> a perfectly deterministic physical system that does not interact with its environment may be conscious.

That depends on what you mean by "environment". In any case, the
counterfactuals are still there.

> And since the computer may be built and programmed in an arbitrarily complex way, because any physical
> system can be mapped onto any computation with the appropriate mapping rules,

That is not a fact.

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Received on Sat Aug 26 2006 - 10:37:00 PDT

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