You Can't Eat Causal Cake with an Abstract Fork: An Argument Against Computational Theories of Consciousness

Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (11-12):154-90 (2012)
Authors
Matthew Piper
University of California, San Diego
Abstract
Two of the most important concepts in contemporary philosophy of mind are computation and consciousness. This paper explores whether there is a strong relationship between these concepts in the following sense: is a computational theory of consciousness possible? That is, is the right kind of computation sufficient for the instantiation of consciousness. In this paper, I argue that the abstract nature of computational processes precludes computations from instantiating the concrete properties constitutive of consciousness. If this is correct, then not only is there no viable computational theory of consciousness, the Human Mental State Multiple Realizability in Silicon Thesis is almost certainly false.
Keywords Consciousness  Computation  Electrodynamics  Fractal dynamics  Field properties  Artificial Consciousness  Machine Consciousness
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