Re: Dreaming On

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2009 12:10:41 -0700

Bruno Marchal wrote:
> On 22 Aug 2009, at 20:06, Brent Meeker wrote:
>> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> If the context, or even the whole physical universe, is needed, it is
>>> part of the "generalized" brain. Either the "generalized" brain is
>>> Turing emulable, and the reversal reasoning will proceed, or it is
>>> not, and the digital mechanist thesis has to be abandoned.
>> That's what makes the point interesting. Many, even most,
>> materialists suppose that a brain can be replaced by functionally
>> identical elements with no dimunition of consciousness and that a
>> brain is Turing-emulable BUT the "generalized brain" may not be
>> Turing-emulable. I personally would say no to a doctor who proposed
>> to replace the whole physical universe (and me) with an emulation.
> OK.
> Do you agree that this, not only entails the falsity of CTM
> (computationalist theory of mind), but also on any computationalist
> theory of matter.

Yes, so long as by "computation" you mean only the Church-Turing
definitions of computation.

> Your consciousness has to be related to a non computable physical
> process, in actuality. Quantum computer would not be universal in
> Deutsch sense.
> I am OK, with this. My point is not to convince people that comp is
> correct, but only that comp makes physics "coming from number dreams",
> to be short.
> Saying "no" to the doctor, is your right (even your comp justifiable
> right), but relatively to the reasoning it is equivalent with stopping
> at step zero.
> So now, your mind is free to look if the reasoning is valid. No worry
> with the uncomfortable consequences, given that you don't believe in
> the initial axiom. Right?
> Well, you may be not interested in the consequence of a theory in
> which you don't believe, but you may be intrigued.

I am interested. I don't believe or disbelieve. Maybe the
"generalized brain" is Turing emulable. I'm just not nearly so
confident that it is as I am that my brain is emulable.

> Unless you believe the comp hypothesis is inconsistent? I don't think
> you believe this either.

Not inconsistent; but I have considerable empathy with Peter's view.
My general attitude is that "exist" is just a word to name a concept
we invent and we can invent different kinds of existence: physical
it-kicks-back existence, mathematical it's-provable-from-axioms
existence, etc. I may not agree that arithmetic is what's really
real, but I regard your theory as an interesting model and I hope it
leads to predicting something we don't know.


> Bruno

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Received on Sat Aug 22 2009 - 12:10:41 PDT

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