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Old 05-18-2019, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
Here's a page from the Stanford Encyclopedia about this problem.
Fascinating stuff, but as you can see, the debate has moved on a long way from Putnam's ideas.
The SEP is a good first resource to get an overview about an unfamiliar topic. If you want to dive a little deeper into the matter, I'd suggest reading the review article by Godfrey-Smith about 'Triviality arguments against functionalism', which considers Putnam's early attack and more modern developments.

The entire section 3 of the SEP-article, by the way, is occupied with worries such as the one I'm presenting, so it's very much a current issue.

Certain computations are ontologically privileged, and they are the only ones we should be interested in.
OK, so what makes a computation ontologically privileged? And which of the two I presented above is the right one? Or is it any of the many others that can be obtained in a similar manner?

If I have two laptops, and they both show the same symbols on the screen as a result of pressing the same keys on the keyboard, I don't care what route the computation has taken, so long as the answers are consistent.
That's not the issue at all, though. The two laptops will show exactly the same symbols; the question is how these symbols are interpreted. Only there does what has been computed get fixed.

Really, you should try to work through the example I gave above, that will make it more clear.