Re: Consciousness is information?

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 2009 13:56:55 +0200

On 30 Apr 2009, at 13:30, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

> 2009/4/30 Bruno Marchal <>:
>> This is essentially the problem discussed by Chalmers in "Does a Rock
>> Implement Every Finite-State Automaton"
>> at ,
>> Yes. And I don't buy that argument. I will not insist because you
>> did it
>> well in your last post. Also, if it was the case that rock implement
>> sophisticated computations, it would just add some measure on some
>> computations in the Universal Dovetailing. Also, a rock cannot be a
>> computational object: it is a projection of an infinity of
>> computations when
>> we look at the rock at a level which would be below our common
>> substitution
>> level. Eventually we will met the quantum vacuum (assuming comp
>> implies QM,
>> as I think), and in some "parallel world" that vaccum will go
>> through all
>> accessible states, but this is part of so many variate histories
>> that they
>> interfere destructively and does not generate any classical history
>> stable
>> relatively to any observer coupled with the rock.
>> and I think it's also the idea behind Maudlin's Olympia thought
>> experiment
>> as well.
>> Maudlin's Olympia, or the Movie Graph Argument are completely
>> different.
>> Those are arguments showing that computationalism is incompatible
>> with the
>> physical supervenience thesis. They show that consciousness are not
>> related
>> to any physical activity at all. Together with UDA1-7, it shows
>> that physics
>> has to be reduced to a theory of consciousness based on a purely
>> mathematical (even arithmetical) theory of computation, which
>> exists by
>> Church Thesis.
>> The movie graph argument was originally only a tool for explaining
>> how
>> difficult the mind-body problem is, once we assume mechanism.
> The Rock argument and the Olympia/ Movie Graph argument are
> diffferent, but they lead to the same conclusion if valid, namely that
> if computationalism is true then consciousness does not supervene on
> physical activity.

I don't see why. If the rock implement conscious computation, this
would just enrich the domain measure.

> Putnam and Searle use the Rock argument to suggest
> that computationalism is false: they consider it absurd that any
> conscious computation supervenes on any physical activity (or
> equivalently no physical activity, since at one extreme the Rock
> argument allows that any computation is implemented by the null
> state).


> Chalmers tries to rescue computationalism in the paper cited
> by arguing that the Rock argument is not valid.

He tries to rescue "materialist computationalism". But this exactly
what Olympia/movie-graph does not allow.
I guess this is also why Chalmers defends dualism, even for quantum
mechanics without collapse.
When I met Chalmers he told me he stops at UDA step 03 (and left the
room without much explanation). Some of its more recent writing
indicates that he has perhaps change its mind, I dunno.


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Received on Thu Apr 30 2009 - 13:56:55 PDT

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