Re: Emulation and Stuff

From: David Nyman <>
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2009 22:41:06 +0100

2009/8/18 Brent Meeker <>:

>> I presume that one could substitute 'computation' for 'unicorn' in the above passage?
>> If so, the human concept that it is 'computation' that gives rise to consciousness
>> could be "paraphrased using statements about physical processes in human brains".
>> So what may we now suppose gives such processes this particular power?
>> Presumably not
>> their 'computational' nature - because now "nous n'avons pas besoin de cette
>> hypothèse-là" (which I'm sure you will recall was precisely the point I originally
>> made).  It seems to me that what one can recover from this is simply the hypothesis
>> that certain brain processes give rise to consciousness in virtue of their being
>> precisely the processes that they are - no more, no less.
> No less, but some more.  Compare the concept that chemistry gives rise to life.  As we
> have come to understand life we see that it has lots of sub-processes and there are
> different kinds suited to different environments.  We can manipulate some aspects of life,
> e.g. genetic engineering.  So we did get more than just certain chemical processes give
> rise to life in virtue of being the processes they are.  The very concept of life is now
> seen to be a fuzzy abstraction with no definite meaning.

Yes, I agree completely, in terms of insight and explanation. But
notwithstanding this - in terms of a primary matter ontology - it does
nothing to weaken the 'paraphrase' physical reduction argument with
respect to either 'life' or 'computation' - does it?


> Brent
>> Am I still missing something?
>> David
> >

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Received on Tue Aug 18 2009 - 22:41:06 PDT

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