Re: Emotions

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 16:39:37 +1100

On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 05:48:11PM +0100, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> On 29 Oct 2008, at 06:09, Russell Standish wrote:
> >
> > On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 09:04:15AM +0100, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> >>
> >> Ah! See my papers for a proof that indeed consciousness does not
> >> emerge from brain function. See the paper by Maudlin for an
> >> independent and later argument (which handles also the
> >> "counterfactual
> >> objection"). You have to assume the body is a machine.
> >
> > I presume by "emerge", you mean "supervene on".
> I was trying not to be technical, nor more precise that is needed. (cf
> the 1004 fallacy).
> "supervene on" already means different things according to mechanism,
> naturalism, etc.

By supervenience, I mean that there is some underlying state such that
if my consciousness differed from what it is now, then the underlying
state must differ also. In this case, the underlying state being
discussed is the state of the brain.
Emergence also has many meanings, supposedly. The meaning I use (which
is the most coherent I've come across) as described in chapter 2 of my
book would make "emerge from" and "supervene on" equivalent, when
referring to consciousness and brain states.

> ... without which supervenience?
> Is it the usual physical supervenience (called just supervenience by
> most philosopher of mind), or my 1988 (see also 1998)
> "computationalist supervenience"?
> Just to be clear, and for the benefits of the others:
> Physical supervenience is the conjunction of the following assumptions:
> -There is a physical universe
> -I am conscious (consciousness exists)
> -(My) consciousness (at time x, t) supervenes on some physical
> activity, at time (x, t) of a portion of the physical universe.

Supervenience (of consciousness on brain states) is just the latter
two assumptions. The brain need not exist in some concrete fashion. It could be
some illusionary phenomena for instance.

I took your work as negating the conjunction of the first assumption
and computationalism, but saying nothing about the latter two.

A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
UNSW SYDNEY 2052         
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Received on Fri Oct 31 2008 - 01:40:05 PDT

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