Re: Emulation and Stuff

From: Flammarion <>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 01:28:11 -0700 (PDT)

On 19 Aug, 01:51, Brent Meeker <> wrote:
> David Nyman wrote:
> > On 19 Aug, 00:20, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:
> >> Note that I have never said that matter does not exist. I have no  
> >> doubt it exists. I am just saying that matter cannot be primitive,  
> >> assuming comp. Matter is more or less the border of the ignorance of  
> >> universal machines (to be short). There is a fundamental physics which  
> >> capture the invariant for all possible universal machine observation,  
> >> and the rest is geography-history. Assuming comp the consistent-
> >> contingent obeys laws.
> > AFAICS the essence of Bruno's dispute with Peter consists in:
> > 1)  ***If you accept the computational theory of mind (CTM)*** then
> > matter can no longer be primitive to your explanations of appearances
> > of any kind, mental or physical.
> > 2) ***If you assert that matter is primitive to your explanation of
> > appearances of any kind, mental or physical (PM)*** it is illegitimate
> > to appeal to CTM.
> > Bruno's position is that only one of the above can be true (i.e. CTM
> > and PM are incompatible) as shown by UDA-8 (MGA/Olympia).   I've also
> > argued this, in a somewhat different form.  Peter's position I think
> > is that 1) and 2) are both false (or in any case that CTM and PM are
> > compatible).  Hence the validity of UDA-8 - in its strongest form -
> > seems central to the current dispute, since it is essentially this
> > argument that motivates the appeal to arithmetical realism, the topic
> > currently generating so much heat.  UDA-8 sets out to be provable or
> > disprovable on purely logical grounds.  I for one am unclear on what
> > basis it could be attacked as invalid.  Can anyone show strong grounds
> > for this?
> > David
> I think you are right that the MGA is at the crux.  But I don't know whether to regard it
> as proving that computation need not be physically instantiated or as a reductio against
> the "yes doctor" hypothesis.  Saying yes to the doctor seems very straightforward when you
> just think about the doctor replacing physical elements of your brain with functionally
> similar elements made of silicon or straw or whatever.  But then I reflect that I, with my
> new head full of straw, must still interact with the world.  So I have not been reduced to
> computation unless the part of the world I interact with is also replaced by computational
> elements

If you were a programme interacting with the world before,
you still will be after a function-preserving replacement is made.

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Received on Wed Aug 19 2009 - 01:28:11 PDT

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