Weak and Strong Emergence, what is it?

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Q_Goest

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Hi MF.

I think the term “undecidable truths’ is misleading. I believe you introduced this term into the discussion? I think a better and more accurate term would be “meaningless questions”. Why? Because “undecidable truths” implies …
The phrase was "undeducible truths" not "undecidable". If I replace the correct term into your post, it seems the point is still being missed. We discussed this before here:
Q_Goest said: thus there are facts and properties which are not deducible ("truths" which are not deducible) from a third person perspective. Is that correct MF?
MF Responded: Correct.
Undeducible truths are facts about properties which we have no way of deducing. We might suggest that we can't deduce simply by examining the computer, whether or not it is experiencing the color red for example. We might say the computer is having a subjective experience, and we may describe this experience as a phenomenon which is had by the computer, but we might be prone to believe that the facts about these phenomena can't be deduced by examinaing the computer itself. Whether this is true or not shouldn't be debated. What needs to be debated is that given the assumption that the computer's experience can't be deduced by observing or measuring the device, what is our conclusion?

I'd suggest there are potential conclusions one can reach by making specific assumptions about computationalism. For example, one can assume the phenomena supervenes on the action of a computer's parts. One can also assume that only classical physical laws are necessary to understand the actions of a computer.

One might also assume however, that what we call subjective experiences are unlike other phenomena. Classical phenomena have properties and there are facts about those properties which we can measure and calculate. However, one can also make the assumption that subjective experience is something unlike classical phenomena, and those subjective experiences may not be something we can measure in any way. Most classical phenomena such as weather patterns, orbits of planets, the function of a car engine, all are phenomena that can be described and understood by examining the interaction of the parts of the system that creates the phenomenon. However, when it comes to consciousness or subjective experience, we might find ourselves doubting these phenomena can be described or understood (ie: deduced) from the facts about the actions of the computational machine which allegedly experiences these phenomena.

There are other views if we make other assumptions:
1. To a computationalist that accepts strong emergence per Chalmers, we might believe that we can deduce these facts about subjective experience from new physical laws which are essentially organizational principals.
2. To someone that believes in quantum consciousness, these facts and properties might be deducible as we discover new physical dimensions or levels or discover new quantum interactions.

More on this momentarily.

It does not follow, however, that the physical world is completely describable using mathematics.
I think we might benefit by focusing on the fact that computationalism is predicated only on classical physics. It does not depend on HUP or anything else. Computationalism could have been theorized hundreds or even thousands of years ago. Yet, as I'm sure you know, it's a new concept which has arisen only in the past half century. Computationalism doesn't require microchips or anything electronic though. Computationalism doesn't need HUP, electricity, Godel's theorem, or anything like that. It simply says that the mind is a mathematical algorithm of some sort which is completely deterministic since it can in fact be described using math. There is no reason in principal, that the Egyptions couldn't have come up with the concept of computationalism, and created a cognizant computer made from water buckets, ropes and wooden scaffolding thousands of years ago.

All I am saying is that questions of the type “what is it like to be a bat?” (which entail projecting one conscious perspective inside another) are also meaningless.
Yes, we may say that as a human it is impossible to have the same subjective experiences as a bat, but that's irrelevent. What's important is whether or not we can tell if a bat is actually experiencing anything at all. Does a bat have subjective experiences? What is it that can have subjective experiences? Can a computer have them? Does the laptop computer I have right now experience anything? Does my son's video game in which ogres from pod land come to destroy Earth experience anything? Do the ogres experience dying as my son drills them with an assault rifle of unimaginable power? I love it when those ogres burst like popcorn! lol And if a computer can have subjective experience only if it's performing the correct algorithms, then can any equivalent system have them such as a computer made out of water buckets and valves? (multiple realizability says it must!)

I'll grant you that humans can't experience what a bat does, but that isn't important. The important question is, "Can we know what system is having an experience?" More on this in a moment.

Conscious perspective is unitary, there is simply no way that agent A can get exactly the same perspective on agent B’s conscious perceptions that agent B gets on those same conscious perceptions.
So far I don't disagree. All this says is that I can't become you and experience exactly what someone else does, just like the bat idea above.

NOT because they represent an “undecidable truth”, but because the question is meaningless.
The question we need to ask is not whether we can experience someone else's subjective experiences, but whether or not we can know if a system is having an experience at all.

Now, it also seems to be your premise (as well as Tournesol’s) that we can fully describe the physical world using mathematics. But that’s a premise. Can you describe your first person perspective of consciousness using mathematics? If yes, how? If no, doesn’t that suggest your premise may be false?
Would you agree that computationalism assumes that the proper logical algorithm will create the phenomena of subjective experience? One can call this a logical algorithm or the execution of a series of mathematical steps. All states of a computer can be mathematically represented. All states of any computational device of any type can in fact be mathematically represented. That is the point of weak emergence that I believe is so easily missed. Weak emergence indicates that any computational machine, running any program, can be mathematically represented because in fact it is all mathematical by definition. It is a deterministic computation. So everything a computer does is not only measurable, but the measurement of any state of any computer provides us with sufficient information to know exactly, everything it is going to do in the future, provided we also know all input as a function of time.

Argumentum ad Verecundiam (argument from authority, ie “that cannot be correct, because the experts say so”) does not amount to a “hill of beans” in philosophical debate. Simply quoting names such as Searle, Putnam, Chalmers etc does not an argument make (though I have noticed that many people often feel strangely comforted if they think they can somehow link their personal philosophical position to popular names).
<argh> you found me out. I'm just blowing smoke, right? <sigh>

MF said: Even if the HUP did not exist as a limitation to epistemology, there is no way any agent within a finite universe could know all the details of that universe. Let's say the universe comprises N particles. To record the positions and momentum of each of those particles in 3 dimensions at one moment in time would require 6 real numbers, that's 6*N real numbers for a system of N particles. Leaving aside the problem that a real number might not be fully specifiable with a finite number of digits, where/how do you store those 6*N real numbers if you only have N particles in your universe? It cannot be done.
Q said: I think this statement is in error but I'll disregard as I certainly understand what you're trying to get at.
MF said: Imho there is little point in claiming my statement is in error if you are not prepared to explain, and defend, why you think this.
Perhaps selfAdjoint can clarify for us, but I believe that to calculate N particles using a classical computer, to record position and momentum of each is 2 raised to the N power. I'll admit I'm unsure of that, but honestly it doesn't matter for this discussion. Just out of curiosity, I'd like to find out though.

Thus, with respect, the fact that you cannot accept the notion that some questions are meaningless is your problem, not mine.
<argh, again> I seem to have many problems, don't I? <sigh twice>

I wouldn't be discussing these things with you MF, if I didn't feel you had something valuable to add to the discussion. I appreciate your posts since they come from an intellegent perspective and that's what's needed to challenge and progress my understanding of consciousness. Personally, I also enjoy reading those folks that do this for a living, so when I post references to papers or the papers themselves, it is in the hopes that the arguments they have provided might already be read and understood. I'd like to better understand the papers as well as have others understand them because we shouldn't be sitting here debating between ourselves with our own ideas. That would be ignoring the shoulders on which we can find a foot hold. On the other hand, it could be as you say, because I enjoy blowing smoke. <haha>

~

Getting back to the OP on hand regarding emergence, I'd like to enumerate what I see as our options given various assumptions. If our minds are mathematical processes as computationalism suggests, then we have one of 3 choices to make depending on what assumptions we want to accept. There may be more choices which depend on other assumptions, but the roads I see we can go down include the following:

1a. One set of assumptions leads to panpsychism (all matter has consciousness).
1b. We might also conclude panpsychism, plus, we might also conclude that we may add any other phenomena we wish, such as religion.

We get to this conclusion by making the assumptions I've described earlier. First, that a computer can become conscious. We also assume there are measurable properties or facts that a computer has. This is exactly what Bedau talks about as he describes the GoL. These measurable properties or facts as I'll call them include the color of a given pixel. Obviously, the color is measurable, and it's location is also measurable. The game also creates pictures with these pixels, one of which is termed a "glider". This is simply the recognition that the shape is made up of various colored pixels in a specific arrangement. We can deduce the rules, we can create a simulation of the GoL, we can do many things.

The GoL is not considered a conscious phenomena. It's a very simple game, my computer now is doing things many orders of magnitude more complex, so it boggles my mind to hear someone suggest the GoL has some kind of 'experience'. This observation is a good lead in however to what could then lead to panpsychism, or the concept that all matter is cognizant to some degree.

If we observe any computer, we might suggest that we can know everything about all the measurable properties and facts. We can know every state of every switch, and we can in fact even become that computer ourselves simply by performing the same mathematical functions that the computer does. This isn't very practical of course because we'd need to live to be billions of years old to do what a computer does in just a few seconds. However, there is no reason in principal that we couldn't do everything a computer does. We'd need a way to represent the state of the computer, but a pen and paper would do just fine. We can't say pen and paper are insufficient to create consciousness because that would proclaim that there is something unique about the mechanism or substrate on which a computation is performed that is special and unique. Such a proclamation would go counter to the fundamental premise of computationalism which states it doesn't matter if we use neurons or microchips or buckets filled with water to do the computation. If they all do the same computation, they all have the same experience.

Moving on, if we observe the computer we can know all the measurable facts and properties because by definition, they are measurable facts and measurable properties. We don't need anything more to explain what the computer is doing. What the computer is doing is performing an alorithm or series of mathematical manipulations or a series of symbolic manipulations - take your pick. All of that is knowable by definition.

What we don't know is what the computer might be experiencing! If we don't know what the computer is experiencing, if there is no way whatsoever to deduce this information, then these facts about the computer are undeducible. If this is true, and we can't know if the computer is experiencing anything at all, then we must be prepared to accept there are phenomena such as subjective experience which occur that we weren't aware are occuring, including panpsychism.

Searle and Putnam have put forth alternate arguments which lead us to the same conclusion. Searle writes:
On the standard definition […] of computationalism it is hard to see how to avoid the following results: 1. For any object there is some description of that object such that under that description the object is a digital computer. 2. For any program and for any sufficiently complex object, there is some description of the object under which it is implementing the program. Thus for example the wall behind my back is right now implementing the Wordstar program, because there is some pattern of molecule movements that is isomorphic with the formal structure of Wordstar. But if the wall is implementing Wordstar then if it is a big enough wall it is implementing any program, including any program implemented in the brain.
Putnam wrote something very similar. Chalmers is quoting him here in '96.
In an appendix to his book Representation and Reality (Putnam 1988, pp. 120-125), Hilary Putnam argues for a conclusion that would destroy [computationalism]. Specifically, he claims that every ordinary open system realizes every abstract finite automaton. He puts this forward as a theorem, and offers a detailed proof. If this is right, a simple system such as a rock implements any automaton one might imagine. Together with the thesis of computational sufficiency, this would imply that a rock has a mind, and possesses many properties characteristic of human mentality. If Putnam's result is correct, then, we must either embrace an extreme form of panpsychism or reject the principle on which the hopes of artificial intelligence rest.
About these arguments, Scheutz writes:
There are, however, strong arguments against this endeavor of explaining mind in terms of computation: some disagree with established notions of computation and argue that these notions will be of no help for CCM because they even fail to capture essential aspects of computation (e.g., intentionality, see Smith, 1996). Others, accepting them, show that some of these notions, such as Turing-computability, are too "course-grained" to be suitable for cognitive explanations (e.g., Putnam, 1998, who proves that every ordinary open system "implements" every finite state machine without input and output, or Searle, 1992, who polemicizes that even ordinary walls can be interpreted as "implementing" the Wordstar program). The former line of attack concentrates on our misunderstanding of what everyday computation is all about, whereas the latter debunks our understanding of how an abstract computation can be realized in the physical - how computation is "implemented".
I believe both Putnam and Searles arguments rest on the assumptions outlined above, specifically that there is nothing one can measure that will tell us if a rock or a wall for example, is cognizant. More importantly, their arguments rest on the fact that we haven't properly defined computationalism. If we can't detect consciousness, if we can't deduce if something is conscious or not from what we can measure, then we have a serious problem, and such things as panpsychism, as well as any other phenomenon such as supernatural dieties, are possible outcomes.

2. Another set of assumptions leads to the mind being strongly emergent at the classical level and thus we need new physical laws which are 'organizational' so to speak. This is Chalmer's position. I won't elaborate on this one. I've provided a link to the paper so we can discuss specifics from that. In the end, I think this reasoning fails for two primary reasons. The first is that strong emergence hasn't been seriously considered by science at any level higher than the mesoscopic. The second reason is that the arguments put forth by Searle and Putnam should still hold unless there is a better definition for computationalism which differentiates computational structures.

3. Another set of assumptions leads to computationalism being false. There can be various reasons for this, one of which includes the fact that strong emergence can only be dignified by science on the molecular level, and computers don't work at this level.

I'd elaborate on these last two, but it seems this post is already longer than I'd expected.
 
Hi Q_Goest

Q_Goest said:
Undeducible truths are facts about properties which we have no way of deducing.
Imho “undeducible truths” is (in this context) just as incorrect as undecidable truths. Both terms imply there is a truth, which is simply inaccessible to us. This is not necessarily the case. If a question is meaningless, it has “no answer” not because there is a true answer and we simply do not know what it is (which would be an epistemic limitation), but because there simply is no right or wrong answer (an ontic limitation).

Example : If I ask “what is the largest natural number?”, would you answer there IS a largest natural number, but we just cannot know what it is (this would indeed be an undeducible truth or undecidable tuth), or would you answer there is NO largest natural number (in which case the original question is meaningless).

“How can I find the largest natural number?” is not impossible because it involves an “undeducible truth”, it is impossible because the question is meaningless. Similarly, “how can I experience exactly what the computer experiences?” is not impossible because it involves an “undeducible truth”, it is impossible because the question is meaningless.

Q_Goest said:
We might suggest ….. what is our conclusion?
What do you mean exactly by “deduce the computer’s experience”?
By definition, the only agent who can possibly experience precisely what the computer is experiencing is the computer. If Q_Goest were able somehow to “get inside” the computer hardware to try and “see for himself” what the computer is experiencing, what you would end up with is a different agent – it would be some kind of “amalgamation” of Q_Goest plus computer hardware which would then be “having the experience”, and we have no reason to expect that this would be identical with the experience which the computer (prior to insertion of Q_Goest) was having. The objective of “deducing the computer’s experience” therefore assumes something which is impossible in principle, viz to be able to substitute another point of view (PoV) into an existing 1st person subjective experience without changing the experience in any way, such that we can claim the result is the same (ie identical) experience. The conclusion is that what you want to do (ie deduce the computer’s experience from another perspective) is impossible in principle (as is the objective of “deducing” the highest natural number), hence leading not to undeducible truths, but to meaningless questions.

Q_Goest said:
I think we might benefit ……. thousands of years ago.
Computationalism, just like physicalism, does not entail that all properties are describable from a 3rd person perspective.

Q_Goest said:
So far I don't disagree….. the bat idea above.
Excellent – then you will understand why it is impossible to “deduce the computer’s experience” (which was your earlier objective, and an objective which I suspect Tournesol still believes attainable). If you are now watering down your requirement and instead of wanting to “deduce the computer’s experience” all you want to do is to answer the question “is the computer having any experience at all?” then that’s a completely different question.

Before we can discuss possible answers to the question "is the computer having any experience at all?" you will first need to define precisely what you mean by "having an experience".

Q_Goest said:
Would you agree ….. series of mathematical steps.
An algorithm doesn’t “create” anything. An algorithm is simply a description of parts of a (physical) process. It is the relevant (physical) process, not the algorithm per se, from which subjective experience emerges.

Another way to think about it is : The map is not the territory. In other words, don't confuse the description of a process (which is what an algorithm is) with the process itself.

Q_Goest said:
All states of a computer ….. input as a function of time.
Again, measurable by whom? My argument is that not all properties of an agent are necessarily accessible from (hence not measurable from) the 3rd person perspective.

Q_Goest said:
Perhaps selfAdjoint can ….. find out though.
I don’t think so. Here’s why. The position and momentum of a single particle at a single point in time can be specified independently of the positions and momenta of any other particles that may exist, hence the information to store these data should scale linearly with the number of particles, not exponentially.

Q_Goest said:
I wouldn't be discussing these …… we can find a foot hold.
I understand. If you wish to discuss the ideas presented in published papers I’m very happy to do that – the point I am trying to make is that I cannot do that if you simply reply with “that’s not what Chalmers (or Searle, or Putnam) thinks/says/writes/believes, and here by the way is a reference”. I’m not particularly interested in trawling through a publication and using detective work to try and find out just what point you are trying to make/defend, when you should by rights be doing that yourself. If you want to discuss ideas presented by others from outside of this forum, I think it is at least reasonable that you present and discuss just what you think the important aspects of those ideas are that need to be discussed (not simply provide a link to the papers).

Q_Goest said:
1a. One set of assumptions leads to panpsychism ..…. we can do many things.
Again, measurable from whose perspective? 1st person subjective properties are by definition NOT necessarily measurable from any other perspective.

Q_Goest said:
The GoL is not considered …….. all matter is cognizant to some degree.
I am not suggesting any particular instance of the GoL necessarily “has some kind of experience”, any more than I am suggesting that any particular instance of mass/energy “has some kind of experience”. But I see no reason why consciousness and/or phenomenal experience could not arise as an emergent property within a sufficiently complex version of the GoL, just as we know consciousness and/or phenomenal experience arises as an emergent property within a sufficiently complex instance of mass/energy. This does NOT entail panpsychism, it does not entail that all complex entities are conscious (for the reasons explained in my last post).

Q_Goest said:
If we observe any computer…. does in just a few seconds.
Once again, you are assuming that you can measure internal (1st person perspective) properties from a 3rd person perspective. You cannot. Just look at the human brain – there is no way that you can measure “what red looks like to moving finger” by probing/measuring my brain from the outside. It is in principle impossible.

Q_Goest said:
However, there is no reason in principal ……. If they all do the same computation, they all have the same experience.
The only way to perfectly replicate the 1st person properties of a computer would be to perfectly replicate that computer. But we cannot get “inside” the computer to “see” those properties for ourself, because even if you could somehow implant Q_Goest’s consciousness inside the computer hardware, what you end up with is some kind of amalgamation of Q_Goest plus computer hardware, it is NO LONGER the same physical configuration of the original computer.

Computationalism simply says that cognition is a form of computation. An algorithm is not a form of computation, an algorithm is a decription of a physical process (of computation). Computationalism does NOT say that different embodiments of the same algorithm on different physical substrates necessarily results in identical 1st person subjective experiences. This is an (erroneous) additional assumption you seem to be making. If you think the assumption is correct, perhaps you can explain where you get this notion from (ie how do you arrive at this conclusion?)

Q_Goest said:
Moving on, …… knowable by definition.
Again I ask - Knowable by whom? You cannot, by definition, know the 1st person perspective properties from a 3rd person perspective. “Observing the computer” from the third person perspective (just like observing my brain from the outside) tells you absolutely nothing about any possible internal properties of the computer as viewed from a 1st person perspective (ie as viewed by the computer itself).

Q_Goest said:
What we don't know ….. are undeducible.
I prefer to call the question “what is the computer experienceing?” a meaningless question – because only the computer can know what it is experiencing. For any third party to ask the question has no meaning whatsoever.

Q_Goest said:
If this is true, …… including panpsychism.
To say that we cannot know WHAT the computer is experiencing is NOT the same as saying that we cannot know IF the computer is experiencing anything. There IS a very simple way to find out IF the computer is experiencing anything – the same way that I find out whether a human being is experiencing anything – ask it!

Q_Goest said:
On the standard definition …… implemented in the brain.
How does it follow that the wall IS implementing the program simply BECAUSE there is some pattern of molecule movements that is isomorphic with the wordstar program?

Q_Goest said:
In an appendix to his book ….. artificial intelligence rest.
How does a finite entity like a rock implement "any automaton one might imagine"?

Q_Goest said:
I believe …… are possible outcomes.
Of course panpsychism is (logically) “possible” – but then so are Tooth Fairies.

Q_Goest said:
2. Another set of assumptions …….. computational structures.
I would agree with Chalmers in that consciousness is a strongly emergent property, but I disagree that we "need new laws of physics" - basically because such laws would be in principle inaccessible from a 3rd person perspective, hence asking what these laws are is completely pointless.

Q_Goest said:
3. Another set of assumptions …….. don't work at this level.
Dignified by science? What is that expression supposed to mean?

Best Regards
 
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Surely a metaphorical perspective just is subjective bias.
You seem to be agreeing with me : Subjectivity entails perspective.
metaphorical perspective

Objectivity entails absence of perspective.
metaphorical perspective

Science is based on a 3rd person perspective, .
Literal perspective.


Most people think science is an objective unbiased enterprise,
and that is based on a 3rd-person (literal) perspective.

Either they are confused, or you are.

Literal perspective -- geometry -- does not mean the same
thing as metaphorical perspective -- bias.

You are trying to present your argument as:

1) Science uses a 3rd-person perspective
2) Perspective is subjective bias
3) Science is subjective and biased.

Something has to be wrong with it because "science uses a 3rd-person perspective"
is very much part of scientific objectivity, which is denied in the conclusion.

The problem, of course, is the double meaning of "perspective". The
argument essentially suffers from the Fallacy of Equivocation.

Removing the ambiguity..

1*) Science uses a 3rd-person literal perspective
2*) Metaphorical erspective is subjective bias
3) Science is subjective and biased.

...it can be seen that the conclusion doesn't follow from the premisses.


Again we seem to agree. Experimental/empirical investigation in science assumes that a 3rd person perspective is somehow equivalent to objectivity – but this is an approximation only. If we can always separate “observer” from “observed”, such that changing the observer has no impact on what is being observed, then we can claim objectivity in our measurements. This is a fundamental premise of all scientific investigation. In most experiments we can probably claim that this can be achieved (however there are some who believe that the outcome of experiments in quantum mechanics is inextricably linked with the observer, in which case objectivity is not achieved).
It's really the apparatus rather than the observer. And it still a physical,
quantitative issue. It remains to be seen whether that ind of issue can be equated
with cognitive issueslike bias, and how either of them
relate to experiential issues like qualia. A lot of different
concepts have been shoehorned into "perspective".

But when we start investigating consciousness, we can no longer claim objectivity, because the 1st person perspective of conscious experience inextricably binds up both observer and observed, such that this perspective is inaccessible to any other observer, by definition.
None of that follows necessarilly from epistemic principles. You are making metaphsyical assumptions.


If we study any system which possesses (as part of the system) an internal 1st person perspective on the world, there is no way (in principle) that we can fully understand that 1st person perspective from our 3rd person vantage point.

By what principles? By physicalist metaphsyics (exemplified in the GoL), everything
is exactly predicatble including perspectives (literal of course).

There is no compensation we can make that converts our 3rd person perspective “of the behaviour of a conscious subject” or “of the neural correlates of consciousness” into anyting which resembles the subject’s 1st person perspective of conscious awareness “from the inside”. It is impossible in principle.
None of that follows necessarilly from epistemic principles.

True objectivity is the absence of any particular (literal and metaphorical) perspective, 3rd person, 1st person, or any other.
no, literal perspective doesn't matter.

How can any external observer profess to have an objective view of my conscious experience, when they have access only to a limited 3rd person perspective of my conscious experience – ie they do not (can not) know it from the inside.
The question is whether that claim is comaptible with physicalism. If physicalism
is true, nothing has an "inside" in any fundamenatal sense.


- everything in science (all experiments, all hypotheses, all explanations and interpretations of the results) is based on this perspective, ie that we measure entities "from the outside".
From the outside, taken literally is literal perspective. And literal perspective can be compensated for.
That’s the whole point – it can’t always be done.

If physicalism is true, it can always be done in principle.
if it can't always be done, physicalism is no entirely true.

How can you “compensate for” your 3rd person perspective (either literal or metaphorical) on my consciousness (you have access only to observations of my behaviour, and to the external (3rd-person observable) properties of neural processes in my brain) to achieve the unique 1st person perspective on my consciousness which only I have (which is accessible and knowable by definition only by me, from the “inside of me”)?

If it's a literal perspective, thenIi can comepnsate mathemaically. OTOH,
if it is a metaphorical perspective amounting to something
like qualia, then physicalism is wrong. There is a reason
why physicalists don't like qualia, and why qualia
are always being held up as a challenge to physicalism.

You are the one claiming that all perspectives can always be compensated for – so I welcome you explaining to us how it’s to be done in the example above?

The actual claim is "all perspectives can be compensated for in a physicalist universe".

Your hard-to-get-at quala might just mean we are not living in such a universe.

If we understand the difference between the two, we will understand that in order to achieve lack of bias (metaphorical perspective), we don't need any particual literal perspective. Any literal perspective is as good as any other, you get rid of bias by understanding its sources and compensating for them.
In principle yes one gets rid of bias in experiments by understanding the sources of bias and compensating for them. But you cannot compensate for this bias when the observer is inextricably bound up with the observed (as in the case of conscious experience).
The observer may be inextricably bound up with their own experience, but
not with other people's.

In principle there is no way to “compensate for” your 3rd person perspective (on my consciousness) in order to achieve my 1st person perspective (on my consciousness), because you cannot understand all of the sources of the 3rd person and 1st person bias, and compensate for them, from within the system (the “system” here is the entire experimental setup which includes observer, you, and observed, me). You literally “cannot get there from here”.
That may or may not tbe true. It depends on what kind of universe we live in. things like reducabiltiy and
self-similarity might sove the problem. Physicalists generally don't see a problem.


We cannot metaphorically get inside it either.
How can you (ie what is the process whereby you can) metaphorically get inside my head in order to get exactly the same 1st person perspective (on my conscious experience) that I have from within my head? It cannot be done – in principle – because my conscious experience is part of what makes me “me”, and it is impossible to substitute (either literally or metaphorically) another observer into that conscious experience and at the same time claim that this other observer has the same 1st-person perspective that I have.

You are jsut assuming that your first-person perpective is irreducible -- that
it can only be known form the inside. In a phsycalist univers,e
everything is knowable, in principle from the outside (like
lookig into the inner workings of an "agent" in life).

The question is whether you can still claim to be a physiclaist
after ahving also claimed there are irreducile first-person
perspective.



You cannot remove the subjectivity of 1st person perspectives on consciousness, because the person is part of the conscious experience.
You're part of *you* conscious experience. I'm not part
of your and your not part of mine. What you say is
no barrier to 3rd-person investigation. Talking
about "the observer" without specifying
who is observing whom is another equivocation.

Either moving finger experiences moving finger’s brain from the inside, or Tournesol experiences (if such a thing is physically possible) moving finger’s brain from the inside
Or Tournesol figures out what is going on in MF's brain from the outside. As phsycalism
suggests he should be able to. How does Tournesol figue out MF's qualia
from his neural correlates ? Physicalism doesn't tell Tournesol
how to do that. That is why Tournesol, and a lot of other people,
think qualia are a challenege to physicalism. That is why physicalists
are in the qialia-denial business.

– but these are and always will be two different (literal and metaphorical) perspectives on possible conscious experience within that brain.
It is not logically necessary that there are two fundametnally diffeernt perspectives,
because qualia-denying physicalism is logically possible. it might
atually be the case that the the split in perspectives is a natural
necessity


In the case of conscious experience, the observer is always inextricably convolved with the observation, which makes the observation subjective by definition.
Whether or not the convulation can be unravelled in principle depends
on the (meta)physics of the system. Being subjective in principle
does not support your case, unless you can show that it is
an irreducible-in-principle kind of subjectivity.


As an external observer, you have complete information about what is going on in the Life world. Since already you have complete information, there is nothing you can learn by projecting yourslef into the Life world. All you would gain is a merely literal perspective, a set of epistemic limitations which were predictable from your outside-observer stance ITFP.
How do you know (ie what is the evidential justification to support the belief) that you have complete information?
Because I have understood, played, and programmed the GoL. What is you evidence
for the GoL, uniquely amongs deterministic computer programmes,
having unpredictable in principle features? Isn't "determinsitic,
but unpredictable in principle" a contradiction in terms?

All the information you have is limited to 3rd person perspective information about properties of the GoL as viewed from the outside of the GoL.
Which is all the information.

You don’t know (you cannot know) what the properties of the GoL are from the perspective of an agent which is within the GoL.

I already have all the information. Agents within the GoL cannot
have information I do not have.

In the same way you might claim to “have complete information about what is going on” in moving finger’s conscious brain by examining my neural states from the outside – but you would be wrong. Because you would have no idea of the internal properties of my conscious experience (ie my consciousness as viewed by an observer inside that consciousness, ie by me) simply from studies of the external properties. It cannot be done.
If you have qualia, I would not have information about them. uif GoL
agents have qualia, I would not have information about them (although they would
be idle qualia, since the evolution of the Life world can be rpedivted without them).
Bu why should I believe Life agents have qualia ? You are arguing in circles;
you have to assume irreducible subjectivity in order to prove it. What you
should be proving is that qualia will necessarily emerge even in
a highly reductive, physicalist universe. But you never have proved that.
It isn't proven by the (apparent) existence of qualia in our universe. It isn't
proven by the existence of "perspectives" or "convolvement"
in Life-like worlds, because they are reducible in principle.


If you are dealing with a Life world, the way in which you would change the experiment are themselves predictable.
Predictable by whom?
By an observer of arbitrarilly large resources. That's what the "in principle" clause means.

Since an external observer has no access to the internal properties of such a world (ie properties as detected by an internal observer),
An external observer has complete information. There is no "extra" information avaiable
within the world. Life agents might well have less information than external
observers, they certainly don't have more.

no external observer can predict those internal properties.
You have zero evidence that there are such properties within Life.

Just as Tournesol cannot predict the properties of moving finger's conscious awareness that are detected (experienced) by moving finger, because Tournesol is limited to a 3rd person perspective view of moving finger’s concsiousness, ie from the outside.
What is true in our world is not necessarily true of the GoL world. it is known - -designed --
to be entirely mathematical and reductive.

How can you (ie what is the process whereby you can) either literally or metaphorically get inside my head in order to get exactly the same 1st person perspective
(on my conscious experience) that I have (on my conscious experience) from within my head? It cannot be done – in principle – because my conscious experience is part of what makes me “me”, and it is impossible to substitute (either literally or metaphorically) another observer into that conscious experience and at the same time claim that this other observer has the same 1st-person perspective that I have.

According to physicalism , everythig is understandable in principle from
on an objective basis. Trying to preserve 1st-preson feesl
ins't an issue, because they can be comprehended objectively
too -- they are reducible, secondary phenomena. It doesn't
matter "where" you are when you make the reduction. (resources
matter, but that is taken care of by the "in principle" clause).

You might well insist that I cannot get at your qualia
by that kind of procedure, and I might well agree.
My conclusion would be that the existence of your
qualia, and the consequence failure of physicalist
reduction, shows that this is not a physicalist universe.

You cannot remove the subjectivity of 1st person perspectives on consciousness, because the person is part of the conscious experience. Either moving finger experiences moving finger’s brain “from the inside”, or Tournesol experiences (if such a thing is physically possible) moving finger’s brain “from the inside” – but these are and always will be two quite different (literal and metaphorical) perspectives on possible conscious experience within that brain. In the case of conscious experience, the observer is always inextricably convolved with the observation, which makes such observation subjective by definition. There is simply no way to achieve an objective perspective on conscious awareness “from the inside”.
Convolvement can be reduced away in a physicalist universe, too.
Showing the necessay existence of convolvement doesn't show the necessary existenxce
of irreducible-in-principle convolvement.

(NB throughout, physicalist means "everything has only
mathematically describable poperties". The sense in which Chalmers is not a
physicallist -- althioguh he thinks everything supervenes, at least naturally,
on the physical )
 
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Q_Goest said:
It sounds like you also would like to argue for some kind of panpsychism because you're supporting a first person perspective for such things as the GoL and any computational system in general.

Panpsychism is an explcitly metaphsyical position. I think
MF is trying to get something with the look
and feel of metaphysics out of purely epistemological principles.

He might even be trying to get real metaphysics out of purely epistemological principles. which would be a kind of magic.
 
MF said:
Even if the HUP did not exist as a limitation to epistemology, there is no way any agent within a finite universe could know all the details of that universe. Let's say the universe comprises N particles. To record the positions and momentum of each of those particles in 3 dimensions at one moment in time would require 6 real numbers, that's 6*N real numbers for a system of N particles. Leaving aside the problem that a real number might not be fully specifiable with a finite number of digits, where/how do you store those 6*N real numbers if you only have N particles in your universe? It cannot be done.
You are assuming there is no informational redundancy in the
system of particles. That is equivalent to assuming there are
no laws. Physicsis all about redundancy.
 
Originally Posted by Q_Goest
Undeducible truths are facts about properties which we have no way of deducing.
Imho “undeducible truths” is (in this context) just as incorrect as undecidable truths. Both terms imply there is a truth, which is simply inaccessible to us. This is not necessarily the case. If a question is meaningless, it has “no answer” not because there is a true answer and we simply do not know what it is (which would be an epistemic limitation), but because there simply is no right or wrong answer (an ontic limitation).
It might have an answer, which we know, but are nonetheless unable to deduce in any mathematical
or logical way. That appears to be the case with qualia.

To put it another wat, if we should reject the undeducable tout court, we should
reject strong emergnece (see OP). Yet you claim to be arguing in favour of strong emergence.
 
Tournesol said:
Most people think science is an objective unbiased enterprise,
and that is based on a 3rd-person (literal) perspective.

Either they are confused, or you are.
I agree that 3rd person science often approximates to an objective unbiased perspective, but it does not follow that it is always objective. Measurements in QM may be fundamentally subjective.

Tournesol said:
1) Science uses a 3rd-person perspective
2) Perspective is subjective bias
3) Science is subjective and biased.
Science assumes 3rd person perspective always entails objectivity – the results of QM suggest this is not always the case.

Tournesol said:
Something has to be wrong with it because "science uses a 3rd-person perspective"
is very much part of scientific objectivity, which is denied in the conclusion.
Scientific objectivity is an assumption which may not always be valid.

Tournesol said:
everything
is exactly predicatble including perspectives
I have asked previously how it is that you know there are no internal properties of the GoL which are inaccessible from the 3rd person perspective (ie from outside the GoL). Can you defend your claim, or is this belief of yours simply an article of faith? Still waiting for an answer.

Tournesol said:
The question is whether that claim is comaptible with physicalism. If physicalism
is true, nothing has an "inside" in any fundamenatal sense.
Physicalism does not entail that “nothing has an inside”.

Tournesol said:
If physicalism is true, it can always be done in principle.
if it can't always be done, physicalism is no entirely true.
Once again a misunderstanding of the claims of physicalism.

Tournesol said:
My conclusion would be that the existence of your
qualia, and the consequence failure of physicalist
reduction, shows that this is not a physicalist universe.
Based on your strange personal definition of physicalism, you may be correct. But since physicalism is not defined the way you claim (except in your own private language), this conclusion is irrelevant for the rest of us.

Tournesol said:
physicalist means "everything has only
mathematically describable poperties"
Not in my book. Where do you get this definition from?

With respect, Tournesol, I have pointed out your misconception about physicalism before, and it seems you simply ignore your error. We are once again going round and round in circles, with apparently no communication between us. You are entitled to your own private definition of physicalism of course, but there isn’t much point continuing the discussion if this is the case, since we are not using the same language.

Best Regards
 
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Tournesol said:
That is equivalent to assuming there are
no laws.
Invalid inference. The existence of the law of gravity does not reduce the number of variables we need to specify the instantaneous positions and momenta of an N-particle system.

Best Regards
 
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Tournesol said:
It might have an answer, which we know, but are nonetheless unable to deduce in any mathematical
or logical way. That appears to be the case with qualia.
Before we can agree on the answer, we need to understand just what is the question you are trying to answer?

Tournesol said:
To put it another wat, if we should reject the undeducable tout court, we should
reject strong emergnece (see OP). Yet you claim to be arguing in favour of strong emergence.
I don't "reject the undeducible" - I reject the notion that we can answer meaningless questions.

"What would moving finger's conscious experience be like from Q_Goest's perspective?" is such a meaningless question. Even Q_Goest now seems to agree with this (which is why the discussion has moved on from "what is the computer experiencing?" to "is the computer experiencing anything?")

Best Regards
 
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Q_Goest

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Hi MF.
Imho “undeducible truths” is (in this context) just as incorrect as undecidable truths. Both terms imply there is a truth, which is simply inaccessible to us. This is not necessarily the case. If a question is meaningless, it has “no answer” not because there is a true answer and we simply do not know what it is (which would be an epistemic limitation), but because there simply is no right or wrong answer (an ontic limitation).
I think this takes the entire argument out of context. To say there are undeducible truths means that under certain assumptions, the something that we call subjective experience can't be deduced from what we can measure about the device allegedly harboring this experience. I think you've misconstrued this point. I don't see the point in suggesting that asking questions about how we can possibly detect conscious experience on some level is meaningless.

What do you mean exactly by “deduce the computer’s experience”?
Can we deduce if a computer is having an experience simply by observing the actions of it's components? The answer is yes if you accept strong emergence per Chalmers, no if we use most other assumptions.

If you are now watering down your requirement and instead of wanting to “deduce the computer’s experience” all you want to do is to answer the question “is the computer having any experience at all?” then that’s a completely different question.
Yes. I'm not "watering down" anything though. This is the idea I'm trying to get across. Depending on what assumptions you make, you may come to the conclusion there is no way to know from examining the actions of a computer, if it is experiencing anything or not. Weak emergence says we can't. Strong emergence, depending on how you define it, either says you can (Chalmers) or no you can't (other, less well defined concepts of strong emergence).

1st person subjective properties are by definition NOT necessarily measurable from any other perspective.
This depends on what assumptions you want to make. I believe if you follow down this road of not being able to detect from examining the states of the computer, that the machine is experiencing anything, then we are led to concluding panpsychism is true. We can't say one thing is cognizant and another is not if we have no way of proving it. Note also this statement suggests the Turing test is not acceptable as proof, which would be a good discussion for a separate thread.

I would agree with Chalmers in that consciousness is a strongly emergent property, but I disagree that we "need new laws of physics" - basically because such laws would be in principle inaccessible from a 3rd person perspective, hence asking what these laws are is completely pointless.
How do you define "strong emergence" then?
 

Q_Goest

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Hi Tournsel,
I already have all the information. Agents within the GoL cannot
have information I do not have.
I think that's an excellent point. But a computationalist would suggest the GoL is experiencing the information, and you are not. So the information must be experiencing itself. Would you agree this leads to panpsychism? What other conclusions could you come to given the assumption that we might have the same information, but no way to know if that information is experiencing anything? Are there any other ways to resolve this paradox and still maintain computationalism other than what Chalmers has come to?

Panpsychism is an explcitly metaphsyical position.
Regardless of what position it is, would you agree or disagree that computationalism leads to panpsychism if we have no way of detecting whether a machine is conscious or not?
 
Q_Goest said:
To say there are undeducible truths means that under certain assumptions, the something that we call subjective experience can't be deduced from what we can measure about the device allegedly harboring this experience.
To say that there is an undeducible truth behind a question implies (imho) that the question has an answer, but we simply cannot know what that answer is. In the case of questions such as "what is the largest natural number?" there IS no answer, because the question is meaningless. Thus there is no inaccessible "truth" behind the question, thus claiming there is an "undeducible truth" in questions such as this is incorrect.

Q_Goest said:
I think you've misconstrued this point. I don't see the point in suggesting that asking questions about how we can possibly detect conscious experience on some level is meaningless.
You seem to misunderstand the point I am making. I am NOT saying that "questions about how we can possibly detect conscious experience on some level are meaningless", I am saying that questions such as "what would moving finger's phenomenal consciousness be like if Q_Goest were to experience that phenomenal consciousness?" are meaningless.

Q_Goest said:
Can we deduce if a computer is having an experience simply by observing the actions of it's components? The answer is yes if you accept strong emergence per Chalmers, no if we use most other assumptions.
First define what you mean by "having an experience" (this is what I asked in my previous reply to you) :
moving finger said:
Before we can discuss possible answers to the question "is the computer having any experience at all?" you will first need to define precisely what you mean by "having an experience".
….then explain how you would go about confirming that the computer is “having an experience” assuming we accept Chalmers' version of strong emergence.

Q_Goest said:
Depending on what assumptions you make, you may come to the conclusion there is no way to know from examining the actions of a computer, if it is experiencing anything or not. Weak emergence says we can't. Strong emergence, depending on how you define it, either says you can (Chalmers) or no you can't (other, less well defined concepts of strong emergence).
Ditto above.

Q_Goest said:
I believe if you follow down this road of not being able to detect from examining the states of the computer, that the machine is experiencing anything, then we are led to concluding panpsychism is true.
Can you show how you arrive at this conclusion (because I believe your logic is faulty, but I cannot show you where you have erred unless you explain your premises and inferences in clear logical steps)?

Q_Goest said:
We can't say one thing is cognizant and another is not if we have no way of proving it. Note also this statement suggests the Turing test is not acceptable as proof, which would be a good discussion for a separate thread.
Inability to prove whether an agent is cognizant or not is NOT proof that cognizance does not exist - it is simply an indication that we cannot detect it.

Q_Goest said:
How do you define "strong emergence" then?
I would use a definition similar to the one you attribute to Chalmers in the OP :

A phenomenon P* is strongly emergent with respect to another set of phenomena P when P* arises from (ie is supervenient on) P, but some properties of P* are not deducible (even in principle) simply from knowledge of the properties of P.

Best Regards
 

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MF said: I am NOT saying that "questions about how we can possibly detect conscious experience on some level are meaningless", I am saying that questions such as "what would moving finger's phenomenal consciousness be like if Q_Goest were to experience that phenomenal consciousness?" are meaningless.
That's fine, let's get away from the discussion about "what would moving finger's phenomenal consciousness be like if Q_Goest were to experience that phenomenal consciousness?" and let's discuss questions such as "questions about how we can possibly detect conscious experience on some level".

MF said: First define what you mean by "having an experience"
By "having an experience" or when we say "consciousness" I'm referring to any of the many subjective experiences such as the phenomenon of unity, or of self awareness, or any experience that occurs in a human, but not in a rock for example.

MF said: ….then explain how you would go about confirming that the computer is “having an experience” assuming we accept Chalmers' version of strong emergence.
Chalmers is suggesting there are "new physical laws" which need to be discovered. For example, stone age man didn't understand fire to the degree we do. They couldn't understand how molecules interacted. They had new physical laws to uncover, so for stone age man, fire was a phenomena which they had no way of explaining. Similarly, Chalmers is suggesting that we need to uncover new physical laws to explain the phenomena of consciousness. If we knew what these physical laws were, we'd then be able to apply them to anything and deduce if that something was conscious or not. For example, stone age men may have believed the sun was a ball of fire. We now know that not to be the case because we know more about the physical laws that govern fire. The two look the same, the sun and fire, but they aren't the same phenomenon. Similarly, Chalmers is suggesting that if we had physical laws to apply to conscious phenomenon, we might be able to deduce if something is conscious or not.

Q said: I believe if you follow down this road of not being able to detect from examining the states of the computer, that the machine is experiencing anything, then we are led to concluding panpsychism is true.
MF said: Can you show how you arrive at this conclusion (because I believe your logic is faulty, but I cannot show you where you have erred unless you explain your premises and inferences in clear logical steps)?
If we assume that we can't know from examining something if it is conscious or not, then given there are a myriad of systems which go from the most simple to the most complex, all of which are equally capable of manipulating information (or performing calculations if you like that phrase better), we have no criteria for determining which of these systems is conscious and which are not. If we have no criteria on which to base a judgment on whether or not something is conscious, and we still claim the more complex ones are conscious, then we must also claim the less complex ones harbor some amount of this phenomenon as well. Conclusion is that every 'thing' is cognizant to some degree or other.

Any small system can be thought of as part of a larger system. A computer as we know it is simply a large number of switches. It could equally be made from water buckets, valves and pipes, or all the Chinese people shaking hands. Here's another example - A coffee pot is part of the galley, and the galley has mechanisms to manipulate coffee pots such as water spigots, electric switches, and people. The galley is part of an aircraft, and the aircraft has mechanisms to manipulate various parts of it. The aircraft is part of an airport, which has mechanisms to manipulate various parts of it, the airport is just part of a larger structure. Each level is shown to have parts which are being manipulated by the whole. Thus, at some level, we have a highly complex system of interactions.

A computer on the other hand is not really "computing" per se, it is merely manipulating parts of itself. We have granted an interpretation to the action of a switch or the filling of a bucket of water, or the lifting of a flag. In each case, we have granted that symbolic gesture some meaning. We have granted this symbolic gesture a computational meaning. We've said this filling bucket of water means a 1 and empty it means a 0. A filled coffee pot could mean a 1, a valve position could mean a 0, fluid in a hydraulic circuit above 1000 psi could mean a 1, the flaps on an aircraft being down meaning 0, a person in location A can mean 1, etc… We can grant a meaning to anything, it does not need to be a computer switch because even a computer switch does not truly mean a number. We simply grant it that right to be a number. We say it's a number because it is manipulated in some way that represents a number to us. We've assigned that manipulation a numerical value, but we could equally assign any action a numerical value.

The aircraft systems similarly are highly dependant on what is causing them to be manipulated. A coffee pot doesn't get filled unless a person turns the water on. The hydraulic circuit doesn't reach 1000 psi unless some valve is in the proper position. Each action can be 'mapped' to its cause and effect. And each of these cause and effects are inter-related. They are not independent of each other. In fact, they are SO inter-related, that from a classical perspective, the interactions are every bit as deterministic as the switches in a computer. So we can't say a coffee pot on an aircraft is independent of the airport because it can't be turned on or even be there unless there are causal relationships which provide for the coffee pot to be in the aircraft and the aircraft at the airport. From the classical level, these are all deterministic, causal relationships which we could assign numerical values to just like a computer. The two systems, the world's aircraft transportation network, and an allegedly conscious computer, are equivalent forms of computational networks except the aircraft transportation network has a tremendous amount of additional mass, a tremendous potential additional computational power is needed to describe it thus it has tremendous more computational power, and thus the transportation network is much more complex computationally than an alleged conscious computer.

So there is no good definition of computation. A computer is not computing, it is manipulating symbols. The airline industry is not computing, it is manipulating symbols. Both are doing similar things, both can have their actions mapped to numbers and we can say these things are calculating, but either neither of these is calculating or both are calculating. We can't say one is calculating and the other is not, because they are both manipulating symbols through causal relationships.

If we say a system is manipulating symbols through causal relationships, and some of these systems are conscious, then we must grant that all of them are potentially conscious. Thus panpsychism. I believe Searle and Putnam have then taken this concept a step farther and argued that we can map any FAS to any system, or something along those lines. Long story short, this additional argument shows that any allegedly conscious computer is equivalent to any other system.

- I don't think anyone can argue that computers are not symbol manipulators. Thus we can argue that we can map any actions of any system into any numbers we want and thus suggest any given system is manipulating symbols along the lines of a computational device and thus everything must be assumed to be computational. If everything is computational, we can't simply say "this subsystem here is conscious but this one isn't" unless there is a distinction that can be made. The problem with computationalism right now is that it lacks any significant and meaningful distinction.

The question then for a computationalist, is "How do you define a computation?", and "What is the system needed to implement that computation such that the system can create the phenomena of consciousness?". Chalmers side steps the issue by suggesting there are other physical laws which might answer more succinctly these problems. Saying consciousness is created by "strong emergence" without describing how that type of emergence physically differs from weak emergence leads to panpsychism.
 
moving finger said:
Iagree that 3rd person science often approximates to an objective unbiased perspective, but it does not follow that it is always objective.
Yes it does: that "objective" means "unbiased".

Measurements in QM may be fundamentally subjective.
There is no evidene that they are.


Science assumes 3rd person perspective always entails objectivity – the results of QM suggest this is not always the case.
What results?

Scientific objectivity is an assumption which may not always be valid.

I have asked previously how it is that you know there are no internal properties of the GoL which are inaccessible from the 3rd person perspective (ie from outside the GoL).

As have explained, I know that because I have complete information about the GoL.

Can you defend your claim, or is this belief of yours simply an article of faith? Still waiting for an answer.
The actual situation is that you have offered
no support for your extradordianry claim tha
tthe pixels in "Life" have qualia.


With respect, Tournesol, I have pointed out your misconception about physicalism before, and it seems you simply ignore your error. We are once again going round and round in circles, with apparently no communication between us. You are entitled to your own private definition of physicalism of course, but there isn’t much point continuing the discussion if this is the case, since we are not using the same language.
Chalmers uses "my" definition. perphapsit is your that is private...
 
moving finger said:
Invalid inference. The existence of the law of gravity does not reduce the number of variables we need to specify the instantaneous positions and momenta of an N-particle system.

Best Regards
It certainly can do. Allow the particles to fall
towards the centre of graivty and they will
all end up with the same position. Laws are
all about redundancy.
 
It might have an answer, which we know, but are nonetheless unable to deduce in any mathematical
or logical way. That appears to be the case with qualia.
Before we can agree on the answer, we need to understand just what is the question you are trying to answer?
What-it-seems-like questions.

To put it another wat, if we should reject the undeducable tout court, we should
reject strong emergnece (see OP). Yet you claim to be arguing in favour of strong emergence.
I don't "reject the undeducible" - I reject the notion that we can answer meaningless questions.
Some of the questions you reject as meaningless are
answerable -- and therefore meaningful.

"What would moving finger's conscious experience be like from Q_Goest's perspective?" is such a meaningless question. Even Q_Goest now seems to agree with this (which is why the discussion has moved on from "what is the computer experiencing?" to "is the computer experiencing anything?")
The problem with that question is not a problem
of perpective alone. In a universe of purely
gemoterical
perspective, it would be quite possible
to predict someone else's observationes.

We might not exist in such a universe, but that is fact
over and above the existence of observers and (literal) perspectives.
 
Q_Goest said:
think that's an excellent point. But a computationalist would suggest the GoL is experiencing the information, and you are not.
Computationalists aren't required to believe any programme is
conscious.

The deeper prolbem is that any programme is entirely
knwoable, form the outside, in principle, which
is incompatible with the idea of qualia as intrinisically
unknowable from the outside.

So the information must be experiencing itself. Would you agree this leads to panpsychism? What other conclusions could you come to given the assumption that we might have the same information, but no way to know if that information is experiencing anything? Are there any other ways to resolve this paradox and still maintain computationalism other than what Chalmers has come to?
I can't think of any. It is all something of
an argument against computationalism IMO.

Regardless of what position it is, would you agree or disagree that computationalism leads to panpsychism if we have no way of detecting whether a machine is conscious or not
We can detect wether a machine reports
on its internal states and so on. It is only
phenomenal consciousness that is problematical.
Chalmer's point is that where you have the one
(funtional/behaviourial consciousness), you can
expect to have p-consciousness.
 
Q_Goest said:
That's fine, let's get away from the discussion about "what would moving finger's phenomenal consciousness be like if Q_Goest were to experience that phenomenal consciousness?" and let's discuss questions such as "questions about how we can possibly detect conscious experience on some level".
I suggested that already a few posts ago.

Q_Goest said:
By "having an experience" or when we say "consciousness" I'm referring to any of the many subjective experiences such as the phenomenon of unity, or of self awareness, or any experience that occurs in a human, but not in a rock for example.
How do you know whether it occurs in a rock or not? (I am not suggesting it does, I am asking how you can substantiate your claim that it does not)

Q_Goest said:
Chalmers is suggesting there are "new physical laws" which need to be discovered.
I understand that, and I am saying that the physical properties of phenomenal consciousness which you call "having an experience" are by definition inaccessible to 3rd person investigation, hence asking "what are the laws which describe these properties" is a meaningless question.

Q_Goest said:
For example, stone age man didn't understand fire to the degree we do. They couldn't understand how molecules interacted. They had new physical laws to uncover, so for stone age man, fire was a phenomena which they had no way of explaining. Similarly, Chalmers is suggesting that we need to uncover new physical laws to explain the phenomena of consciousness.
It cannot be done, because phenomenal consciousness is a 1st person subjective experience, it is a category error to think that the "laws" which describe the 1st person perspective properties of subjective phenomenal consciousness can somehow be known or described from a 3rd person perspective.

Q_Goest said:
If we knew what these physical laws were, we'd then be able to apply them to anything and deduce if that something was conscious or not.
Therein lies your problem, because by definition we CANNOT know what these laws are, the properties they describe are inaccessible to the 3rd person perspective.

Q_Goest said:
If we assume that we can't know from examining something if it is conscious or not, then given there are a myriad of systems which go from the most simple to the most complex, all of which are equally capable of manipulating information (or performing calculations if you like that phrase better), we have no criteria for determining which of these systems is conscious and which are not. If we have no criteria on which to base a judgment on whether or not something is conscious, and we still claim the more complex ones are conscious, then we must also claim the less complex ones harbor some amount of this phenomenon as well. Conclusion is that every 'thing' is cognizant to some degree or other.
Does not logically follow.
To say that "X may be conscious" (and we simply cannot tell whether it is conscious or not) is not the same as saying that "X is necessarily conscious".

If you believe we can tell the difference between a conscious and a non-conscious entity from the 3rd person perspective, please explain how you think it can be done.

Q_Goest said:
Saying consciousness is created by "strong emergence" without describing how that type of emergence physically differs from weak emergence leads to panpsychism.
You have still not shown how you arrive at this conclusion (indeed, I have shown above that your logic is faulty - saying "X may be conscious, we have no way of knowing" is not the same as saying "X is necessarily conscious")

Best Regards
 
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Hi Tournsel

We can detect wether a machine reports
on its internal states and so on.
Not sure what that means. How does a machine "report on its internal states" in any meaningful way?



Hi MF

How do you know whether it occurs in a rock or not? (I am not suggesting it does, I am asking how you can substantiate your claim that it does not)
The point being, IFF we don't want to accept panpsychism, then we will make the assumption that a rock is not conscious. I didn't mean to infer that we can know if a rock is conscious or not, only that we preclude this possibility if we want to exclude panpsychism as a possibility.

I understand that, and I am saying that the physical properties of phenomenal consciousness which you call "having an experience" are by definition inaccessible to 3rd person investigation, hence asking "what are the laws which describe these properties" is a meaningless question.
What is the meaningless question? I believe what you're trying to say is that it is meaningless for a 3'rd person to investigate whether or not some system is "having an experience". Is that correct? But that's not a "question" so you have me confused.

If that is correct, then what evidence do you have to base this statement on (ie: that it is impossible for a 3'rd person to determine if a system is "having an experience")? I don't believe there is any. We can't say there is no evidence simply because computationalism precludes the possibility that something is inaccessible to a 3'rd person investigation. What you're saying is that computationalism precludes any evidence of experience by a 3'rd person, so you conclude there is no evidence.

It cannot be done, because phenomenal consciousness is a 1st person subjective experience, it is a category error to think that the "laws" which describe the 1st person perspective properties of subjective phenomenal consciousness can somehow be known or described from a 3rd person perspective.

Therein lies your problem, because by definition we CANNOT know what these laws are, the properties they describe are inaccessible to the 3rd person perspective.
Can you provide any logical reasoning to show what you say is true regardless of the assumptions used to base the phenomena of consciousness on? If this is only based on the concept of computationalism, the statements are only valid for computationalism and may be invalid for other theories.

Does not logically follow.
To say that "X may be conscious" (and we simply cannot tell whether it is conscious or not) is not the same as saying that "X is necessarily conscious".
I agree. But I don't need to prove that the aircraft industry is necessarily experiencing something. I only need to prove that there is no differentiator between one computational structure which isn't conscious and another which is allegedly conscious given the concept of computationalism. I only need to prove there is a possibility given the theory on hand (computationalism) that panpsychism is not ruled out. There is no differentiator for computationalism, as you can see. Thus, we can't preclude panpsychism given the assumptions computationalism is based on. If we can't preclude panpsychism given this theory, there is a problem with the theory which needs to be addressed. Although I've attacked this from a slightly different angle, others have already pointed out this problem. The reaction from the computationalists has not provided a firm foundation yet on which to generate a meaningful response to this type of attack.

If you believe we can tell the difference between a conscious and a non-conscious entity from the 3rd person perspective, please explain how you think it can be done.
That's not the point here. It isn't my intent to prove that there is some theory of consciousness that shows from a 3'rd person perspective that a system is conscious. In fact, I don't know of one. But that's not important. Computationalism is the primary theory under review in this thread.

Edit: I'll admit my aircraft argument doesn't prove that computationalism necessarily leads to panpsychism. It only shows we can't preclude panpsychism. What I need to prove is what Putnam has stated, that "every ordinary open system realizes every abstract finite automaton." I'll see if there's a better way of putting this into the aircraft example. Regardless, Putnam claims to have proven this, or at least many people in the philisophical community believe he has. It's the reaction from the philisophical community that's interesting, as it shows how much needs to be done to the concept of computationalism to maintain it as a vaild paradigm for the mind. Food for thought.
 
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Not sure what that means. How does a machine "report on its internal states" in any meaningful way?
How does a human ?
 
Emergence, Upward and Downward Causation

I would argue that emergence, at least from a scientific viewpoint, is neither strong or weak...that it springs from characteristics inherent in atomic structure. For instance, molecules of iron oxide are colourless, however, when aglomerated one of their apparent emergent properties is the familiar rust red colour. Likewise, atoms of gold are not shiny, yellow and hard, but in sufficient number form the familiar metal with its shiny, yellow appearance...shiny and yellow are apparent emergent properties of the atomic element.

Emergence often carries with it the notion of causality, because it appears that emergent properties are "caused" by the smaller bits necessary to bring about the appearance of the emergent properties. It would appear this may be so, because emergent properties occur regularly under consistent conditions, i.e., when iron (Fe) oxidizes (O2) it always turns rust red (R), and when sufficient numbers of gold atoms bond, a shiny, yellow metal appears. Another way of stating this is:

The direction of emergence is a movement from the micro to the macro, a "growing larger", hence upward causation. Following the idea of causality and emergence, an argument against downward causation can again be found in FeO2, that is, rust does not cause the emergence of unsullied iron or oxygen atoms or molecules.

I would argue that emergence and causation are distinct from one another. Emergent properties are inherent properties of their atomic particles. Therefore, inherent in the molecular bond of iron and oxygen is the reflection of red human eyes perceive.

Upward causation has been accepted within the realm of philosophy of science for some time...microscopic things build into macroscopic things, or, macroscopic things reduce to microscopic particles. Chemistry reduces to physics (don't get me started on that one :)

The idea of downward causation has been problematic to philosophers of science...for one thing, the whole idea reeks of "God"...anathema to scientists, if not philosophers, although analytical philosophers do not tend toward proofs of God either...but I digress.

But another problem philosophers of science have faced is an apparent lack of physical examples of downward causation, that is, something macro returning to its micro parts, parts unchanged. I would like to now pose a question to the group about, and example of, downward causation...what about the cycle of water (H20) (micro) evaporating from the earth, rising, condensing, forming a cloud (macro), rain falling to the earth, and returning to its constituent elements in the soil?

It would appear that in the same way the hydrogen and oxygen combined to eventually "cause" a cloud to form, the cloud eventually "causes" the formation of hydrogen and oxygen. It's a simple example, tidy, and answers to the issue of moving from the macro to the micro without addition or subtraction of "parts". Would appreciate any input on this idea. Thanks.
 

Q_Goest

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Hi Chestnut. Glad to see you didn't get roasted on some fire over Christmas! Welcome to the board.

Chestnut said: I would argue that emergence, at least from a scientific viewpoint, is neither strong or weak...that it springs from characteristics inherent in atomic structure.
I'd agree with this statement wholeheartedly. In fact, I'd intended to steer this thread in that direction, but never got that far. In "http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/97/1/32.pdf"", Robert Laughlin et al. argues for emergence on the "mesoscopic" level. By this, I believe he's refering to only quantum phenomena, though he's certainly not talking about classical mechanics. So I believe your concepts here are in line with Laughlin, and also in line with current thinking, with the exception perhaps of your proposed "downward causation argument.

I also liked the distinction you make between causation and emergence here:

I would argue that emergence and causation are distinct from one another. Emergent properties are inherent properties of their atomic particles. Therefore, inherent in the molecular bond of iron and oxygen is the reflection of red human eyes perceive.
Nicely stated! I think this is fully in line with most of the current thinking in science and is key to understanding consciousness. Emergence is only a phenomenon which can be associated with quantum mechanics, not classical mechanics.* I also believe it puts consciousness squarely into the quantum mechanical category and out of the classical mechanics category.

I'm not sure this is clear to everybody though. If one still tries to accept emergence on a classical level such as computationalism, you're stuck trying to defend a phenomenon unlike any other we know of and I think this is why Chalmers ended up supporting this mysterious concept of "higher level physical laws" (see OP). Unfortunately, most philosophers supporting computationalism simply don't get it. They don't see a need for higher level physical laws. The entire argument is at 35,000 feet to them and they want to believe in computationalism, which relies strictly on classical mechanics.

Take for example the argument put forward by physicist Henry Stapp in his 1995 "http://psyche.cs.monash.edu.au/v2/psyche-2-05-stapp.html"" only a few months later. Stapp writes:
The fundamental principle in classical mechanics is that any physical system can be decomposed into a collection of simple independent local elements each of which interacts only with its immediate neighbors.
In other words, classical mechanics relies only on weak emergence as also defined by Bedau and who's definition I put in the OP. Stapp then points out the fundamental problem with this logic:
The information that is stored in any one of the simple logically independent computers, of which the computer/brain is the simple aggregate, is supposed to be minimal: it is no more than what is needed to compute the local evolution. This is the analog of the condition that holds in classical physics. As the size of the regions into which one divides a physical system tends to zero the dynamically effective information stored in each individual region tends to something small, namely the values of a few fields and their first few derivatives.
Ok, I'll agree his argument needs work here, but his point is still valid IMO. Subjective experience can't be created by classical level elements which hold only one tiny aggregate of information about the experience. There has to be something, some mechanism to tie them together.[1]

Finally, he points out exactly what Chalmers says about higher level physical laws and why that isn't the right answer:
One could imagine modifying classical mechanics by appending to it the concept of another kind of reality; a reality that would be thought like, in the sense of being an eventlike grasping of functional entities as wholes. In order to preserve the laws of classical mechanics this added reality could have no effect on the evolution of any physical system, and hence would not be (publicly) observable. Because this new kind of reality could have no physical consequences it could confer no evolutionary advantage, and hence would have, within the scientific framework, no reason to exist. This sort of addition to classical mechanics would convert it from a mechanics with a monistic ontology to a mechanics with a dualistic ontology. Yet this profound shift would have no roots at all in the classical mechanics onto which it is grafted: it would be a completely ad hoc move from a monistic mechanics to a dualistic one.
To me, that's a beautiful retort! He points out exactly why we can't accept something like what Chalmers is saying about higher level physical laws.

The philosopher Kirk Ludwig however, doesn't seem to recognize the differences between classical and quantum mechanics from a philisophical perspective, and I think this is what leads him, like so many other philosophers, to attack Stapp. I'd comment on his paper, but this post is getting too long as it is.

~

Ok, why did I write all that? What's the point? The point is that if we accept emergence only at the molecular (mesoscopic to Laughlin) level where quantum mechanics is necessary, computationalism is dead.

I tried to work towards this conclusion in this thread, but unfortunately never quite got there. Maybe we should start over?

~

Chestnut said: But another problem philosophers of science have faced is an apparent lack of physical examples of downward causation, that is, something macro returning to its micro parts, parts unchanged. I would like to now pose a question to the group about, and example of, downward causation...what about the cycle of water (H20) (micro) evaporating from the earth, rising, condensing, forming a cloud (macro), rain falling to the earth, and returning to its constituent elements in the soil?

It would appear that in the same way the hydrogen and oxygen combined to eventually "cause" a cloud to form, the cloud eventually "causes" the formation of hydrogen and oxygen. It's a simple example, tidy, and answers to the issue of moving from the macro to the micro without addition or subtraction of "parts". Would appreciate any input on this idea. Thanks.
Sorry Chestnut, but we'll have to part company on this one. Note the definition (in the OP) of downward causation by Chalmers:
Downward causation means that higher-level phenomena are not only irreducible but also exert a causal efficacy of some sort. Such causation requires the formulation of basic principals which state that when certain high-level configurations occur, certain consequences will follow. …

With strong downward causation, the causal impact of a high-level phenomenon on low-level processes is not deducible even in principal from initial conditions and low-level laws. With weak downward causation, the causal impact of the high-level phenomenon is deducible in principal, but is nevertheless unexpected.
The concept of downward causation has nothing to do with something macro returning to its micro parts. It has to do with the macro thing having some causal efficacy over the micro parts. The phenomenon of something returning to its micro parts, be it water or an organism that is born, lives, dies, and who's parts eventually wind up in another living organism, has nothing to do with downward causation.


*** *** ***

*I believe I'm preaching to the choir here.

[1] Note that Searle, Putnam, and many other eminent philosophers basically agree with this, but don't point to QM as the answer. They do however point out that in computationalism, each micro element is a symbol, and if this is true (which it is) the concept of computationalism inevitably devolves into panpsychism. I've also tried using this argument in this thread which is a slightly different attack on computationalism.
 
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More on Ermergence, Reduction, Causation...

Hi Q-Goest...

Thanks for the welcome. Amazingingly excellent reply for 6:06 a.m. (at least that's when your message came in here...I'm in the PST...what time zone are you in?)

I'm afraid I must be very brief, partially because I slept in very late and have to get prepared for evening festivities, and partially because I have to go through my materials and find the various citations to support my statements!

Your concurrence, at least on some points, is appreciated. Following are a couple of questions/observations...

In "The Middle Way", Robert Laughlin et al. argues for emergence on the "mesoscopic" level. By this, I believe he's refering to only quantum phenomena, though he's certainly not talking about classical mechanics. So I believe your concepts here are in line with Laughlin, and also in line with current thinking
Could you please write Robert Laughlin's definition of "mesoscopic"? Although it literally means middle view, and, as you say, may be discussing quantum phenomena, how does the middle view translate into emergence?

I also believe it puts consciousness squarely into the quantum mechanical category and out of the classical mechanics category.
I'm afraid I'm a bit reluctant to mix consciousness discussion with quantum theory. Although physicists do this, and more so lately, a la Fred Alan Wolf, for instance, and although I personally believe that some of the connextions associated with quantum physics and consciousness may hold true, I believe they fall into the area of belief rather than quantifiability and proof. I am not saying these beliefs are not true, just not proven, which, while allowing for the structure of rational argumentation, fails to provide the content.

Regarding Stapp's commentary, thanks for providing his straightforward argument on the failure of classical mechanics's ability to address the unseeable, and potentially unnecessary, evolution-wise, consciousness.

This whole business of philosophy of science's attempt to address the unseen "otherness" in physical "stuff" is interesting. Consider Paneth's discussion of the elements as basic and simple subtances. This has been followed through most recently by Scerri, who describes

"...the notion of an element as a basic substance concerns just its identity and its ability to act as the bearer of properties. A basic substance does not however possess any properties. The properties of an element however reside in the simple substance and not in the element as a basic substance. According to this view, the identity of an element and its properties are regarding as being quite separate."
This is just one example of a scientist/philospher attempting to lend legitimacy and substance to that which can't be quantified. Discussion of emergence based on atomic structure is comparatively "a walk in the park".

I tend to think of emergence, reduction, and upward and downward causation as one process. Robin Le Poidevin's paper, "Missing Elements and Missing Premises: A Combinatorial Argument for the Ontological Reduction of Chemistry", has been a rich resource in my thinking. So, too has been Robin Hendry's Chapter 9, entitled "Is There Downward Causation in Chemistry?" from the book "Philosophy of Chemistry: Synthesis of a New Discipline".

Regarding Chalmers:
Downward causation means that higher-level phenomena are not only irreducible but also exert a causal efficacy of some sort. Such causation requires the formulation of basic principals which state that when certain high-level configurations occur, certain consequences will follow. …

With strong downward causation, the causal impact of a high-level phenomenon on low-level processes is not deducible even in principal from initial conditions and low-level laws. With weak downward causation, the causal impact of the high-level phenomenon is deducible in principal, but is nevertheless unexpected.
While Chalmers is firm in the widely-held philosophy regarding downward causation and its impossibility, I would ask, "Must a higher level phenomena be irreducible in order to exert a causal efficacy?" "Can a reducible higher level phenomena exert a unique causal efficacy that would not otherwise appear if the higher level phenomena was reduced? (here's were emergentism comes in)" If the answer to that question is yes, then Chalmers' concern about "certain consequences" is allayed.

With regard to Chalmers' statement that causal impacts of high-level phenomenon on low-level processes is not deducible (strong version), and deducible only in principle (weak version)...I must acknowledge Chalmers' sincerity and scholarship on causality, first principles, etc., but I fail to see his logic...perhaps if I had a larger quote to provide greater context of his view? I would argue that causal impacts are deducible as concerns high-level phenomenal impacts on low-level processes.

My last point relates to a bit of the last Chalmers quote:
With weak downward causation, the causal impact of the high-level phenomenon is deducible in principal, but is nevertheless unexpected.
Ironically, one of the most widely held tenets concerning unexpected, undeducible outcomes is that those qualities are absolutely necessary to a property being determined to be an emergent property. Are causal impacts always to be considered surprises?

Chestnut
 
Ironically, one of the most widely held tenets concerning unexpected, undeducible outcomes is that those qualities are absolutely necessary to a property being determined to be an emergent property. Are causal impacts always to be considered surprises?
From your two posts to date, you seem to have an extremely rational perspective. I am led to ask your intention as per the meaning of "undeducible". Do you mean "absolutely undeducible" or undeducible via the finite conscious procedures common to ordinary logic?

As far as comprehending the possible extent of “deducible emergent phenomena” you should take a look at my deduction posted quite a while ago in this thread. I am curious as to your possible reactions.

Have fun -- Dick
 

Q_Goest

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Chestnut said: Amazingingly excellent reply for 6:06 a.m. (at least that's when your message came in here...I'm in the PST...what time zone are you in?)
It seems this web site adjusts the time postings are made depending on your time zone. I'm in PA, so I actually posted that at 9:06 am, but since you're in California, the web site displays that as 6:06 am. Ok, maybe 9:06 is still early but I'm not that early! lol

Hope your party went well last night. How come I didn't get an invite? grrrr
<grin>

Chestnut said: Could you please write Robert Laughlin's definition of "mesoscopic"?
Here's a good definition for U of Minn. school of physics and astronomy:
The Greek word meso means "in between". Mesoscopic Physics refers to the physics of structures of intermediate sizes, ranging from a few atomic radii to a few microns. A mesoscopic sample is too big to study its properties by the methods standard in the physics of individual atoms, and is too small for the application of the familiar physical laws of the macro world. Put another way, a macroscopic device, when scaled down to a meso-size, starts revealing the quantum signatures of conventional characteristics. For example, in the macro world, the conductance of a wire increases continuously with its diameter, but in the meso world the wire's conductance is quantized - i.e., the increases occur in steps.
And also from the examples given by Laughlin, it seems the focus is on how nature behaves when the number of atoms or molecules is too small to average themselves out such as is the case for classical mechanics, but the number is also too large to consider the behavior of individual atoms. The properties of matter however, still depend on quantum interactions between atoms in the material.

Although it literally means middle view, and, as you say, may be discussing quantum phenomena, how does the middle view translate into emergence?
Emergence is a philosophical concept which is not well defined, but in general we can look at the two forms of emergence, weak and strong, as being two diametrically opposite possibilities. Weak emergence is well defined by Bedau. Strong emergence is defined by everybody, so I selected Chalmers for the OP.

It is my view that anything that can be defined by classical mechanics such as a bridge, a car, a rocket, the orbit of planets, or a computer can be reduced to its constituent parts, such that any phenomena you observe is reducible to those parts. This view most closely follows the definition of weak emergence. The phenomena exhibited by those classical objects are weakly emergent and reducible. I believe this view is consistent with what you've said, and also consistent with scientific and engineering philosophy in general.

However, as we examine smaller and smaller 'things', there is a scale at which we find phenomena which might not be considered reducible. Laughlin and many others consider this level to be this mesoscopic level. At this level, phenomena depends on interactions which debatably, are interdependent in a way that prevents one from reducing things further.

At any rate, this irreducibility at the mesoscopic scale is IMO, a potential example of 'strong emergence' depending on how you define it. I think Chalmers' definition of strong emergence is acceptable:
Chalmers: We can say that a high-level phenomenon is strongly emergent with respect to a low-level domain when the high-level phenomenon arises from the low-level domain, but truths concerning that phenomenon are not deducible even in principal from truths in the low-level domain.
Unfortunately, Chalmers wants to use this definition on things well above the mesoscopic level, at the level of computers.

Chestnut said: I'm afraid I'm a bit reluctant to mix consciousness discussion with quantum theory. Although physicists do this, and more so lately, a la Fred Alan Wolf, for instance, and although I personally believe that some of the connextions associated with quantum physics and consciousness may hold true, I believe they fall into the area of belief rather than quantifiability and proof. I am not saying these beliefs are not true, just not proven, which, while allowing for the structure of rational argumentation, fails to provide the content.
Consider something that exhibits phenomena which can be fully described using classical mechanics such as a computer, an aircraft, or a galaxy. Can that thing also exhibit phenomena which are not reducible to its constituent parts?

That question takes a lot of thinking. There are a few different responses:
1. Chalmers says yes, and that you therefore need additional physical laws to understand those irreducible phenomena.
2. Many computationalists will recognize the quandary and say no. The Turing test for example says all you need is to do is examine the behavior of the thing to determine if it is conscious, but a p-zombie could equally well pass the test. In short, there is no solid ground to stand on here IMO.
3. In general, I think the scientific/engineering community would say no for exactly the reason pointed out by Stapp.

Chestnut said: I would ask, "Must a higher level phenomena be irreducible in order to exert a causal efficacy?" "Can a reducible higher level phenomena exert a unique causal efficacy that would not otherwise appear if the higher level phenomena was reduced? (here's were emergentism comes in)"
If something is reducible, then by definition the interaction of those parts is both necessary and sufficient to describe everything that 'thing' is doing. We don't need to propose downward causation, since anything the 'thing' is doing is by definition, being done because of the interaction of the lower level parts. Similarly and to my point above, and to what Stapp has pointed out, we also don't need to propose there are other phenomena occurring which can't be described by the interaction of those parts which require additional physical laws such as what Chalmers suggests.

Chestnut said: I would argue that causal impacts are deducible as concerns high-level phenomenal impacts on low-level processes.
Not sure what you meant there. Can you clarify?

Chestnut said: Ironically, one of the most widely held tenets concerning unexpected, undeducible outcomes is that those qualities are absolutely necessary to a property being determined to be an emergent property. Are causal impacts always to be considered surprises?
I think for something to be truly emergent in more than the weak sense, outcomes should not only be surprises, but they must be irreducible as well.

Happy New Year!
 

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