Re: computationalism and supervenience

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 11:21:48 +0200

Le 15-sept.-06, à 13:53, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

> Yes, that's just what I would say. The only purpose served by the rock
> is to provide the real world
> dynamism part of the computation, even if it does this simply by
> mapping lines of code to the otherwise
> idle passage of time. The rock would be completely irrelevant but for
> this, and in fact Bruno's idea is that the
> rock (or whatever) *is* irrelevant, and the computation is implemented
> by virtue of its status as a Platonic
> object. It would then perhaps be more accurate to say that physical
> reality maps onto the computation, rather
> than the computation maps onto physical reality. I think this is more
> elegant than having useless chunks of
> matter implementing every computation, but I can't quite see a way to
> eliminate all matter, since the only
> empirical starting point we have is that *some* matter appears to
> implement some computations.

I agree with the idea that the only empirical starting point we have is
that some matter *appears* to implement some computations [note the
difference of emphasis, though].

Indeed we can only survive, with a reasonable high relative
probability, in (2^aleph_0) computations implementing consistent
"histories". So we can predict that if we look at a sample of "local
observable matter" closely enough, it must, in some sense, be
relatively "implemented" by an infinity of very similar computations
(similar to the one sustaining us).

The feeling that our subjective mind is a product of our objective
brain, and not the reciprocal, is somehow due to the fact that "we"
have to be embedded in a relatively stable reality (whatever that is).


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Received on Wed Sep 20 2006 - 05:23:20 PDT

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