RE: Functionalism and People as Programs

From: Lee Corbin <>
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2005 10:45:52 -0700

Bruno provides the exercise

> > I notice that many people seek refuge in the "no-copying" theorem of
> > QM.
> Exercise: 1) Show by a qualitative informal reasoning that if we are
> Turing emulable then a no-cloning theorem is a necessity.

My best guess right now? Your challenge would be a futile exercise
in word play! "no-cloning" involves quantum mechanics. So far as
I know, computability theory (e.g. Rogers 1967) says ABSOLUTELY
NOTHING about quantum mechanics, and they are in two completely
different intellectual domains.

Let me know when the newspapers announce that you've derived
QM from computability theory. Or any blasted physics equation
whatsoever. (I'm sorry that I have neither the time nor the
expertise to digest your technical papers.)

In another thread, Bruno wrote

> > This is the central problem from those who are deeply concerned as
> > to *why* 1st person experiences exist. Too bad that to me, it's
> > just obvious that they must. I literally cannot conceive of how
> > it could be different! (Poor me, I suppose---in some ways some
> > of us just have too little imagination, I truly guess.)

> The problem is not so much "why" 1-person experiences exist, but how
> they are related to 3-person descriptions, and which one.
> How do *you* explain the relation?

If I were a great novelist, I might be able to convey certain 1st
person experiences to you (but that is possible *only* because the
two organisms Bruno and Lee are so similar). But I'm not a great
novelist, and so I can't.

Therefore, we can only talk about what is in the world, from tables
to trees to mountains and stars. *People* occupy an infinitesimal
portion of what's out there. The maze of internal events which make
each one of them feel and think is interesting, but is a very difficult
physiological problem. I claim that it has nothing to do with serious
philosophy, and is just a hideous distraction, possibly stemming from
confusion at the semantic level and disturbed sr. Bad epistemology,
in a phrase.

THERE ISN'T A PROBLEM! (Yes, okay, to computer scientists and
physiologists there is, but not to philosophers or others interested
in getting their ontology and epistemology straight.) The evolved
creatures all have their responses and their internal workings;
and that's *all* there is to it!

I am an evolved creature; and if I can't understand that that same
conclusions apply just as much to me as to the creatures I study,
then I'm yielding to nonsense.

Received on Sun Jun 05 2005 - 13:49:53 PDT

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