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Old 05-19-2019, 05:42 PM
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wolfpup is offline
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Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
From the paper of Chalmers you linked to: "Strong emergence, if it exists, can be used to reject the physicalist picture of the world as fundamentally incomplete."

I tend to want to keep the option of physicalism alive. If you call yourself a computationalist, I would have expected that so do you. So do you believe that Deep Blue falsifies physicalism?
Of course not. And Chalmers is not saying that strong emergence is a rejection of physicalism, he's saying it undermines it as a complete description, meaning AIUI that there arises the possibility of some system that is identical to another system in all physical respects, yet differs from it in some observable functional/behavioral aspect. Not being a believer in magic or mysticism, I think this is nonsense. Each and every behavioral aspect, whether in a human or a machine, has a corresponding physical mental or computational state.

That state, however, might not be found in any of its discrete components. It might only be found in some vague network of interconnections between distant neurons, or the data paths between software modules, or new data structures that the system itself developed, any of which might have been dynamically established (the latter perhaps in a manner unknown and unpredicted by the designers). Actually a very simple example with Watson was simply the result of its extensive training exercises. In a real sense, no one fully understood what the hell was going in there in terms of the detailed evolution of its database as it was being trained, but the system was gradually getting smarter.

I note BTW that Chalmers also cites consciousness as the only known example (in his view) of strong emergence. I'll leave you guys to fight that out, since you objected to that idea so strongly!