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Old 05-16-2019, 04:28 PM
begbert2 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 13,070
Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
You have the whole thing backwards. It is, ultimately, only the ability to interpret symbolic vessels that makes it possible to use any physical system to compute, or simulate, anything. So when you say that a system can be simulated, you're already appealing to mental capacities.

Let's leave out the middleman of computation, and talk about imagination instead. I can imagine robots, unicorns, trees, and even minds. Physical systems following physical rules---no problem there. By your argument, for a sufficiently powerful imagination, it should be possible to imagine an actual mind into existence.

So, well, imagination gives rise to minds! That's that, then. Except of course nobody's going to buy that: after all, I have just used a transparently mental capacity to explain the mental. That's of course a no-go; but that's exactly what computationalism does. That's the point of my above example that's being so studiously ignored.
(I probably shouldn't tell him what it feels like as a writer to have your characters refuse to go along with the plot you've planned out for them.)

It's patently obvious that that which happens in the imagination stays in the imagination. Similarly, your simulated person will have to have a simulated environment to run around in, or it will have nothing to interact with and probably go insane. I recommend simulating Vegas. What happens in simulated Vegas will stay in simulated Vegas - but that's real enough for the simulated Vegans within it.


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