Re: computationalism and supervenience

From: 1Z <>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 05:16:57 -0700

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent Meeker writes:
> > > I think it goes against standard computationalism if you say that a conscious
> > > computation has some inherent structural property. Opponents of computationalism
> > > have used the absurdity of the conclusion that anything implements any conscious
> > > computation as evidence that there is something special and non-computational
> > > about the brain. Maybe they're right.
> > >
> > > Stathis Papaioannou
> >
> > Why not reject the idea that any computation implements every possible computation
> > (which seems absurd to me)? Then allow that only computations with some special
> > structure are conscious.
> It's possible, but once you start in that direction you can say that only computations
> implemented on this machine rather than that machine can be conscious.

Yes, you can, but you don't have to. Consciousness might supervene on
computational structure, it might supervene on hardware structure.

What is the problem with computationalism being a contingent truth ?

> You need the
> hardware in order to specify structure, unless you can think of a God-given programming
> language against which candidate computations can be measured.

There is a level of description -- a level at which a computaiton can
be said
to contain some may loops, branches and recursions -- which is higher
than the hardware level, but not as high as a specific programming
like C or Fortran. Think of a flowchart.

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Received on Tue Sep 12 2006 - 08:17:54 PDT

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