Re: computationalism and supervenience

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 18:05:59 -0700

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Peter Jones writes (quoting SP):
>>>>>I'm not sure how the multiverse comes into the discussion, but you have
>>>>>made the point several times that a computation depends on an observer
>>>>No, I haven't! I have tried ot follow through the consequences of
>>>>assuming it must.
>>>>It seems to me that some sort of absurdity or contradiction ensues.
>>>OK. This has been a long and complicated thread.
>>>>>for its meaning. I agree, but *if* computations can be conscious (remember,
>>>>>this is an assumption) then in that special case an external observer is not
>>>>Why not ? (Well, I would be quite happy that a conscious
>>>>computation would have some inherent structural property --
>>>>I want to foind out why *you* would think it doesn't).
>>>I think it goes against standard computationalism if you say that a conscious
>>>computation has some inherent structural property.
> I should have said, that the *hardware* has some special structural property goes
> against computationalism. It is difficult to pin down the "structure" of a computation
> without reference to a programming language or hardware. The idea is that the
> same computation can look completely different on different computers, the corollary
> of which is that any computer (or physical process) may be implementing any
> computation, we just might not know about it. It is legitimate to say that only
> particular computers (eg. brains, or PC's) using particular languages arev actually
> implementing conscious computations, but that is not standard computationalism.
> Statthis Papaioannou

I thought standard computationalism was just the modest position that if the hardware
of your brain were replaced piecemeal by units with the same input-output at some
microscopic level usually assumed to be neurons, you'd still be you and you'd still
be conscious.

I don't recall anything about all computations implementing consciousness?

Brent Meeker

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Received on Tue Sep 12 2006 - 21:06:57 PDT

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