Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Rescuing Computationalism with Platonism

In my last post I discussed some issues with identifying objectively which computations a physical system could legitimately be interpreted as instantiating. Computationalism is usually taken to be the view that all it takes to create a conscious mind is to implement the right computation, so the idea that we can't tell objectively when a computation is implemented implies either that there is no objective fact of the matter regarding when minds exist, that all minds exist (everywhere) or that no minds exist. None of these conclusions is particularly appealing!

I find the arguments discussed on the last post to be somewhat persuasive. Indeed, I had had similar concerns before becoming aware of these. What's more, I think the problem may be worse than even Putnam, Searle and Bishop have suggested.