Re: Dreaming On

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 15:36:29 -0700

Quentin Anciaux wrote:
> 2009/8/28 Brent Meeker <>:
>> Quentin Anciaux wrote:
>>> 2009/8/28 Brent Meeker <>:
>>>> Quentin Anciaux wrote:
>>>>> 2009/8/27 Flammarion <>:
>>>>>> On 27 Aug, 08:54, Quentin Anciaux <> wrote:
>>>>>>> 2009/8/26 David Nyman <>:
>>>>>>> This is because if consciousness is a computational process then it is
>>>>>>> independant of the (physical or ... virtual) implementation. If I
>>>>>>> perfom the computation on an abacus or within my head or with stones
>>>>>>> on the ground... it is the same (from the computation pov).
>>>>>>> And that's my problem with physicalism. How can it account for the
>>>>>>> independance of implementation if computations are not real ?
>>>>>> Physcialism doesn't say that computations aren't real. It says
>>>>>> real instances of computation are identical to physical processes.
>>>>> If everything is reduced to physical interaction then computations
>>>>> aren't real. Also that doesn't answer how it account for the
>>>>> independance of implementation. As the computation is not primary, how
>>>>> 02 different physical process could generate the same computation
>>>>> without abstract computations being the only thing that link the two
>>>>> processes having existence. How can you make sense of church-turing
>>>>> thesis if only "realized computations" make sense ?
>>>>> Regards,
>>>>> Quentin
>>>> Try substituting "lengths" for "computations". Are lengths primary
>>>> because the same length can occur in different physical objects?
>>>> Brent
>>> Why would I ? It's not the same thing at all... You could have said
>>> substitute by 'red'... there are multiple physical red object.
>>> The thing is you can come up with an infinity of physical (possible)
>>> realisation for a given computation. So the question is what is
>>> linking the computation to the physical realisation if not the
>>> abstract rules (which don't exists with physicalism, because there
>>> exists only "realized" computations... no abstract thing) ?
>> Lengths are abstract to, but we don't take them to be fundamental.
>> Your reasoning is Platonism; you end up reifying every abstraction
>> simply because they are common to multiple realizations.
>> Brent
> I still disagree (about your wording game)... computation is not a
> property of a thing like a length is, it's a process.

So is walking. Shall we reify walking too? And then take it to be

> And yes I assume abstract rules simply exists...

I have no problem with taking rules to exist, but that's not the same
as assuming they are fundamental and can exist independently.

>that's what allows me
> to build "concrete" realisation of such computation.

I think they must exist in your brain first.


> Regards,
> Quentin
>>> Regards,
>>> Quentin

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Received on Fri Aug 28 2009 - 15:36:29 PDT

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