[ExI] Is the brain a digital computer?

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 26 22:27:41 UTC 2010

----- Original Message ----
> From: Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Sent: Fri, February 26, 2010 11:46:07 AM
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Is the brain a digital computer?
> Maybe I'm getting the wrong view from reading his work, but my view is Kim is a 
> materialist or a "physicalist" -- which seems to me to be a euphemism for 
> materialist. I get this from, e.g., his _Physicalism, Or Something Near 
> Enough.

I think that physicalism is a bit more robust than simple materialism. Physicalism allows for all of physics to come to play in the philosophy of mind. This includes concepts like energy, information, and entropy. Things that are distinctly not matter. So in a way physicalism is more supportive of a dualistic worldview, especially when QM is concerned. Since a non-superstitious irreducible dualism is at the heart of measurement problem. Of the prevailing opinions on the matter either an observation by a mind collapses a non-material wavefunction *or* an observation by a mind creates whole new universes out of nothing.

That said, though, I don't think the dualist 
> position is necessarily religious. To me, there are just many different views 
> one can have walking into this issue. Dualism happens to be the view many take, 
> but I don't think they take it for religious reasons -- meaning, they hold it on 
> faith. Rather, I think it's just a default position for 
> many.

I don't think dualism is necessarily religious either. Indeed I don't see how computationalism can avoid being a dualist philosophy. I mean computers have hardware and software and those distinctions are every bit as dualist as body and mind.

Stuart LaForge 

"Never express yourself more clearly than you think." - Niels Bohr


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